As well as pork and flower pepper,
theres another locally produced ingredient
that Sichuan has made
famous and defines the tastes of the region.
In the few days weve been here,
everyone weve met has relied on it.
If chilli and Sichuan pepper are the heart of the Sichuan food,
then chilli bean paste is the soul.
This is incredible.
Ive never seen anything like this in my life.
I feel like Im walking into a cemetery or a monastery
because its so Zen.
Its a bit spooky and eerie.
At this factory in Pixian, just outside Chengdu,
theyve been making the best chilli bean paste in the world
for over 300 years.
Two years, this one has been aged for?
They have three years and five years.
The paste is actually
very simply made from just three ingredients
broad beans, red chillies and salt.
Its then left to ferment in these earthenware crocks
for up to five years.
That is really superb.
Its beautiful. Its sour, spicy,beany中国美食纪录片下载,
太奇妙了 酸辣适宜 瓣子酥脆
just really intense. Yes.
Its funny, I would never say this is chilli bean sauce.
Absolutely, its never this colour anyway,
so that means that they havent been aged as long.
The quality, Ken, that weve been cooking with is sub-standard,
what we get back home.
The secret of this paste
lies in the relentlessly damp Sichuan climate.
The humidity in the air helps the years of fermentation,
creating a chilli bean paste unlike any other.
Its a little bit like wine. You know, when we do wine,
were talking about where the grapes come from,
the terroir, as the French say,
and I think its very much this中国美食纪录片下载, because this is the heart
of what Sichuan cooking is about.
This kind of damp, foggy climate
that makes this kind of moody chilli bean sauce
thats the heart of this type of cooking.