Hangzhou’s cuisine is noted for its intricate preparation and blend of flavors with local specialities containing a lot of pork and seafood – highlights include dongpo rou, an extremely fatty chunk of pork in a syrupy sauce, and cuyu, which is fish from West Lake in a sweet and sour sauce, and fried shrimp with Longjing tea, but the most famous is likely Beggar’s Chicken (叫花童鸡). A starving beggar in Hangzhou during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is said to have stolen a chicken and was hotly pursued by its owner. In his haste he wrapped it with a lotus leaf and buried the chicken in mud near a riverbank to hide it. Later that night he returned and retrieved the chicken, its feathers covered in mud. He started a fire to cook the chicken. But not having any utensils he placed the entire chicken directly into the fire. A tight clay crust was formed as the chicken cooked, and when the crust was cracked open the feathers came right off the chicken exposing juicy tender meat and emitting an incredible aroma. The roasted chicken was so delicious, he decided to start selling his creation. Unbeknownst to him he had just invented one of China’s greatest culinary traditions.