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Beijing is the Capital city of many dynasties in the history of China, and many nomadic populations once lived in Beijing. Today, Beijing cuisine is refined from a combination of Shangdong cuisine and the Imperial cuisine, and formed its unique characteristics. Many Beijing dishes primarily comprise of meat, as a result of eating habits of the royals. For example, the Mongolian rulers during the Ming dynasty favored mutton, while the Qing dynasty rulers preferred pork. Bejing chefs generally put more effort into the method of cooking, and uses very common ingredients. Deep-frying, roasting, instant-boiling, stir-frying and stewing are among the most common methods of cooking. Because of its more northerly location, instead of rice, which is the staple diet in southern cuisines, noodles, buns, or jiaozi(dumplings), are preferred by the local people.

 Peking Roast Duck:
The most famous dish associated with Beijing is Peking Roast Duck. The origin of the Peking Duck dates back to the Ming Dynasty, about 600 years ago. Cooks from all over China travelled to the capital Beijing to cook for the Emperor. It was a prestigious occupation as only the best chefs could enter the palace kitchens. A top cook was even able to reach the rank of a minister! It was in these kitchens where dishes of exceptional quality such as the Peking Duck was first created and crafted to perfection by palace chefs. However, many of the recipes for such "foods of the Emperor" were later smuggled out of the kitchen and onto the streets of Beijing. With the eventual fall of the Ching dynasty in 1911, court chefs who left the Forbidden City set up restaurants around Beijing and brought the Peking Duck and other delicious dishes to the masses. The crisp skin of the duck is the most prized part. To achieve such crispness, the duck is air-dried, then coated with a mixture of syrup and soy sauce before roasting. When ready, it is presented ceremoniously and the skin deftly carved. These pieces are wrapped in thin pancakes with onions or leeks, cucumber, turnip and plum sauce. Some restaurants also serve up just about every part of the duck, from the webbed feet to the beak and liver. On request, the remainder of the duck meat can be sauteed with bean sprouts, and the bones made into a wonderful soup with cabbage.

Shuanyangrou (Lamb Hot Pot)
Another favorite Beijing dish, it is especially popular in the cold Beijing winter months. Lamb is typical northern food, and is generally not consumed in southern parts of China. It is favored by northern people as it warms up the body. Around the Chunjie or Chinese Lunar New Year, Shuanyangrou is consumed a lot. The way to cook the lamb is ridiculously simple. Lamb meat is first cut into very thin pieces. This was done manually and required great skill. Recently machines have become better at this job and many lamb are thus cut by machines. The lamb is put into a boiling pot for a few seconds with many other ingredient such as seafood or vegetables, and taken out immediately and consumed with sauces such as peanut sauce.
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