Intangible cultural heritages in Guilin -three local “treasures”


The three “treasures” of Guilin refer to three representatives of traditional local products, which are Guilin Sanhua wine, Guilin fermented bean curd and Guilin chili sauce. People who come to visit Guilin, especially the domestic visitors, like to taste the three “treasures” and even buy some as souvenirs for relatives and friends.

Guilin Sanhua wine is the representative of Chinese rice-flavor liquor, known as the king of rice wine, and it is the pride of Guilin people. Guilin Sanhua wine is favored by Chinese and foreign tourists for its long history, unique craftsmanship and excellent quality.

Guilin Sanhua wine

The traditional brewing technique of Guilin Sanhua wine was selected into the provincial intangible cultural heritage list, and its production processes are as follows:
1. steaming rice: soak rice in water, put into steamer, light a fire, steam for the first time, watering for the first time, steam again, watering again, steam for the third time;
2. Saccharification: scatter the steamed rice, spread out for cooling, add the alcohol powder, store in vat, make a nest in the rice;
3. Fermentation: add warm water, soak distillers' grains, dig fermented grains, ferment;
4. Steaming for wine: put into cauldron, distill, remove head wine, catch wine with vessel, remove the feints;
5. Finished product quality appraisal, ageing, test, bottling, leave the factory.

The reason why Guilin Sanhua wine is of high quality, in addition to using good-quality rice, clear water from Li River with no impurities, and specially-made distiller's yeast, it is also because of the unique storage conditions of the caves in Guilin, which are warm in winter and cool in summer, making the wine more mellow and aromatic. People in Guilin like to entertain guests with Sanhua wine since ancient times. In 1972, former US president Richard Nixon visited Guilin and tasted Sanhua wine, which he called Guilin Moutai.

Guilin fermented bean curd

Guilin fermented bean curd has a long history and has been famous for 200 years. It is made with soybeans as the main raw material and is divided into spiced bean curd and chili bean curd two kinds. Guilin fermented bean curd is characterized by thin skin, smooth and soft, and tastes delicious. From its smell, the mixed flavor of Sichuan pepper, laurel tincture, anise, garlic, and Sanhua wine can be distinguished. Its taste is everlasting.

The production process of Guilin fermented bean curd, which was selected as an intangible cultural heritage, is as follows:
Step one: the production of bean curd embryos, which are divided into bean soaking, grinding, residue filtering, coagulating, pressing, forming, and cutting;
Step two: fermentation of bean curd embryos -using bean curd embryos to cultivate Mucor, called pre-fermentation, so that the bean curd embryos are covered with white mycelia, forming a tough film, accumulating proteases, and creating conditions for the later fermentation of pickling;
Step three: canning of bean curd embryos -marinating with seasoning ingredients, and filling with Sanhua wine;
Step four: storage of fermented bean curd -it usually takes more than 3 months at room temperature to achieve the quality of fermented bean curd.

Guilin chili sauce

Guilin chili sauce has a history of about 100 years. Because of its unique flavor, it is popular not only in mainland China, but also in Hong Kong, Macao and Southeast Asia. Main ingredients of chili sauce are fresh red peppers, fermented soya beans and garlic. The selection of ingredients is very particular, and the production process is unique. The fermented soya beans used are specially made by factory, and the red peppers are provided by dedicated base. To make the chili sauce, fresh peppers are picked, cleaned, and minced, strictly mix with other raw materials according to the formula, seal the vats, and store them for sale after a certain period of time. It has the characteristics of fresh and spicy, salty and delicious. It can whet the appetite and promote digestion, is a good seasoning for banquets or families. The traditional production technique of Guilin fermented soya beans chili sauce was listed as municipal intangible cultural heritage.

To be continued…

--by Sophy Zhang(VisitOurChina)