Obviously it’s already been almost two weeks since Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I have finally found the time to actually write about it. This year’s Thanksgiving was definitely not your ordinary Thanksgiving, considering I wasn’t in the United States. This year’s Thanksgiving was, as I like to call it, “a very Chinese Thanksgiving.”
My foreign friends and I (about 12 of us) decided to still have a big meal this Thanksgiving, but instead of your traditional turkey and mashed potatoes, we feasted on Chinese hot pot. This blog post is basically an excuse for me to tell you all about hot pot. Hot pot is one of the things Chongqing is most famous for. In case you aren’t familiar with hot pot, here is a brief description of it:
Hot pot is basically like a super spicy, giant fondue. At the middle of the table, you’ll find a giant pot filled with oil and loads of spices (mainly chili peppers and peppercorns). For those of you with a low spice tolerance, however, you can also order the pot to come with a “dry pot” meaning the outside of the pot will still be spicy but there will be a separate non-spicy pot in the middle. After the oil begins to simmer, you can add in all kinds of different raw foods—meats, veggies, eggs, tofu, sticky rice, dumplings, etc. I won’t list out all of the foods you can get, but my favorites are quail eggs, dry tofu, potatoes, pumpkin, pork, beef, and meatballs.
After things have finished cooking, you can pull food out with your chopsticks and dip it in some sauce (you get to make your own dipping sauce—usually includes some oil, green onions, sesame seeds, peanut oil, etc.) to give it even more flavor and to help with the spice. You haven’t experienced spice and heat until you have tried Chongqing hot pot—it will literally make your mouth go numb it’s so spicy but the flavor is just incredible. Even as I have tears running down my face from the spice, I can’t help but continue to shove my face with the food as it is just so delicious.
Although I was sad that I couldn’t be home with my family for Thanksgiving and have American food, I was very grateful to be spending Thanksgiving with such a great group of people that I am proud to call my friends. Even though I’ve only known these people for less than four months, living abroad in a foreign country brings you together much faster. Can’t wait to celebrate more holidays with this great group of foreigners 🙂
In addition, please enjoy these pictures of the thankful hand turkeys my students made in class during the week of Thanksgiving. I thought I would share some that I found funny/interesting with you.