COMFORT FOOD IN THE HEART OF CHINA

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The historic ancient capital of Xian in the centre of China is where the first emperor of China rose to power. Tourists from all over the globe come here to see the Terra-cotta warriors - dug up from a massive tomb that is an active archeology site. It is also the terminus for the famous Silk Road that was a trade route from China to the Mediterranean Sea, when a camel or horse was the everyday method of transportation.

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In modern times part of that history still lives on Xi抋n. Over the last decade the ancient city wall has been restored back to its splendor of over 600 years ago. Within the city walls lives a large population of Muslim descendants of the Silk Road days of trade. Along with their unique customs also comes their unique food.

In the Muslim quarter of Xian there are countless vendors selling BBQ meat, hand made noodles, and many dishes that use mutton or beef with eastern spices as the base. Fortunately their food spreads out across the city in the form of restaurants and kiosk. In the neighborhood near my hotel just a few blocks of walking took me to an amazing Muslim restaurant where the Chef serves a dish called du wah (pita bread soaked in lamb soup). It reminded me of poutine from our French heritage in Canada.

There is something about comfort food that is immediately recognizable - and this dish hit the spot. Made from pita bread, sweet potato noodles, mutton, and broth - rich with flavour and creamy in texture, it instantly makes you feel cozy and warm. Add some pickled garlic and pepper to your taste. The dish goes back to days of the West Market at the terminus of the Silk Road. Hungry and exhausted traders arriving after months of travel could enjoy this dish in celebration of a long journey completion. Today a short bus ride from anywhere within the city walls will deliver you to this treat of the past. Add a local beer as your companion to this dish to complete the experience.