Food can bring people together, even during a pandemic. SKETCH BY ZHAO CHENHUI
The COVID-19 outbreak has confined many to their homes. Though some have taken this chance to hone their cooking skills, others have been missing delicious food that is often served in restaurants.
In order to ease people’s cravings, a new documentary, Pot of Fire, premiered on Tencent Video on Feb 14, allows internet users to “enjoy” hotpot together online. “No food other than hotpot can represent how much Chinese like to gather together to enjoy happiness,” documentary director Qu Nan told China Daily.
As one of the famous meals in China, hotpot has been popular for ages, for it’s “free-for-all and healthy approach,” according to National Public Radio. From vegetables to meat, from noodles to seafood, diners can add different ingredients to the broth to cook. Unlike frying or other cooking methods, boiling food only releases their nutrients into the broth. This way can maximize the flavors of all the ingredients.
Hotpot can bring warmth to our body and improve blood circulation in winter, and increase perspiration to help cool the body in summer, according to China Highlights.
But eating hotpot is much more than an enjoyment for our taste buds and health. It’s also a celebration of life and friendship.
For most Chinese people, eating hotpot is usually a social event. A survey by Chenzhi Catering Database showed that 40.2 percent of Chinese usually eat hotpot with friends, while 17.6 percent use the occasion for a family reunion.
When a group of people sit around a table to eat, chat and drink, it’s a good time. “As the food continues to boil in the broth, we keep drinking and chatting with each other. The atmosphere makes the time warm,” said Yu Jiaqing, a 28-year-old luxury brand marketing staffer from Beijing.
As a popular saying goes, “There’s nothing to worry about after having a hotpot. If you are still worried, then go for it twice.”
So if you feel empty or lonely, why not cook a hotpot to fill your stomach and heart as well? Or, at least you can watch Pot of Fire.