Some Like it Hot. Some Like it Sour.

My friend Daniel and I used to meet up for lunch about once a month when we both worked in Keene and one of our favorite spots was a Chinese buffet on West Street. Now, whenever we mentioned this to friends, they all turned up their noses at it and thought buffets were gross. Neither of us paid any attention, though. All those yummy things to choose from! I always started out with perhaps my favorite thing to get at a Chinese restaurant: hot and sour soup. That combination of savory brown broth with both a vinegar and spicy kick to it. Bits of pork, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and streaks of egg floating around in it. I’d put a spoon of chopped green onion (scallions) on top and I’d be in heaven.

According to, hot and sour soup is from the Sichuan Province of China and is a staple of all Chinese restaurants in the world. It literally means “peppered vinegar soup” (酸辣 汤 / suānlà tāng) and always consists of a thickened broth, seasoned with black pepper and hot pepper, flavored with vinegar.



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