Flavor of thick red sauce

  Go to a popular restaurant for dinner one day. The restaurant is not far from a certain internet celebrity check-in road in “Wutong District”. The walls of the store are covered with photos, many of the celebrities who came to eat and took photos with the boss. I ordered four dishes, one of which was braised in soy sauce. The first few bites after serving are quite enjoyable, “confirming” the taste of thick oily red sauce from snacks to big ones. But after a few chopsticks in the mouth, it feels sweet and greasy. When the dishes are ready, the oil and water have been separated out, making people not want to eat chopsticks…
  After paying the bill and packing it out, let’s take a closer look: the chef’s approach is understandable. However, the use of sugar, oil and soy sauce is a bit “crazy”, too much force. It is speculated that the main consumers of his family may still be tourists—since they are here to play, they must eat typical “Shanghai cuisine”. Modern scientific research refers to the principle of thick red sauce as “Non-Enzymatic Browning reaction”, and it is generally called “Maillard reaction” in the food industry-coloring when baking bread The aroma when frying and frying steak also comes from the same reaction. One of the great advantages of thick red sauce is that it goes with rice. Caotou circle, braised pork, braised large intestine, braised catfish, braised squid, grilled crucian carp with green onions, fried shrimp, etc. all belong to the category of thick oil red sauce.
  Thick oily red sauce was originally a specific taste and cooking method in Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisines, especially Wuxi cuisine, and was gradually absorbed into local cuisines originated from Chuansha farm cuisine in Shanghai. It is said that Shanghainese didn’t particularly like dishes with thick oil and red sauce at first, but preferred “longtang dishes” that are more homely and light. It was not until the Guangxu period that several Shiliupu and restaurants in the old city developed just right rich and not greasy thick oily red pickles (Zhao Heng’s “Thick Oil Red Sauce Storybook”, published in “Laojiao Continued Pen”) “, Life·Reading·New Knowledge Sanlian Bookstore, 2011). Another theory is that the thick oily red sauce comes from Anhui cuisine (Jiang Liyang, “Where does the thick oily red sauce come from”, “Food and Life” No. 6, 2008). In short, the thick oily red sauce is not original to the local cuisine, and secondly, it must be a product of some kind of “fusion”.
  After taking a walk and digesting for a while, I think that there may not be a standard thick oily red sauce taste, it is between the imagination of others and the commonplace. Outsiders are constantly “tuning” the self-presentation of local people, and passers-by and settlers jointly “plan” the so-called “local”. Between coming and going, a so-called thick oily red sauce appeared. A Shanghai permanent resident does not need to feel or confirm the fact that he is a “Shanghaiese” all the time in his daily life in Shanghai. And a tourist may need to constantly “confirm” that he is “there” when he is at the tourist destination he has been thinking about during his journey. In other words, the braised water paddling is a kind of confirmation, and it has also been landscaped like the Bund, Chenghuang Temple, and Disney.

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