The cuisine of the southern Chinese province of Sichuan is well known for its chilli peppers. In the regional capital of Chengdu, chillies are not only thrown into the wok but also into hotpots: fondue pots filled with broth, in which everyone cooks their own food. Placed on restaurant tables, a hotpot dinner is the height of sociability.
On hot summer days, the residents of Chengdu like nothing more than a spicy fondue. Fight fire with fire, as they say. And because the same chilli peppers can be used to warm you up in winter, just about any night of the year is a good time for a Sichuan hotpot. You will find a hotpot restaurant on practically every street corner. The menus offer dozens of raw ingredients for you to cook yourself. And if you’re not keen on hot peppers, a milder version of the hotpot is usually available.