Yangzhou , noted for its history and culture, is located in central Jiangsu Province in Southeast China, the convergent point between Yangtze River and the Great Canal of China. Therefore, Yangzhou does live up to its name as an important traffic hinge. In the past, Yangzhou cultivated salt merchants in Ming and Qing dynasties, whose wealth can even be compared with that of a nation, and now it is the geological hub of industry and commerce, science and education, tourism and ecology, boasting various technological, art and academic quintessence and famous for its prosperity, civilization as well as magnificent and elegant views.
Yangzhou dishes may be one of the reasons why the people of Yangzhou are so infatuated with their city. They have an appealing color, aroma, taste and also appearance. The original color of each ingredient is preserved after cooking, and no oily sauce is added, so as to retain the fresh savor of the food.
In Yangzhou all dishes, whether cheap or expensive, are elaborate. Cooks will not scrimp on their work, even with Zhugansi (stewed sliced dry bean curd), a popular dish that costs only a few yuan.
Dry bean curd is made by each restaurant that serves it, so the flavor is guaranteed. The cook slices the 1-cm-thick curd into 30 shreds, each one paper-thin but none broken, and then stews them for hours with chopped bamboo shoots and shelled shrimps in chicken soup. In this way the dry bean curd shreds can soak up the flavor of the other ingredients, and the soup is clear but savory. It is not only Yangzhou cooks but also the ordinary people who are conscientious about cooking.