Mar 13, 2019|By chinadaily.com.cn
Wandering around the ancient Liuhe town in Taicang, one is inevitably attracted by a seductive fragrance.
Following the scent, one may find oneself standing in front of a local cuisine restaurant, the source of the fragrance.
It's the pot-stewed duck made by the restaurant's owners Xu Honglin and Su Jiang that has such a delicious smell.
To the right of the store there stands a huge stewing pot and at nine o'clock every morning Xu and Su fire it up to start making their specialty pot-stewed duck.
"Pot-stewed duck is our golden brand", said Xu. "We sold more than 40,000 ducks last year and our customers mainly come from Shanghai and Suzhou."
Such a performance is quite marvelous for an unassuming shop-front.
According to Su, high-quality raw materials and a unique recipe are keys to their success.
The ducks they use are free-ranging sheldrakes from the mountainous areas with a growing period of more than 200 days and weight of no more than 1.5 kilograms.
The flavoring bags for stewing the sheldrakes include 12 different kinds of Chinese herbs, which the two owners have compiled over years of experience.
At the beginning of their business, they did not think of treating the pot-stewed duck as their specialty.
They just cooked the dish for their friends right at the restaurant when having tea together. The pot-stewed duck would be ready when they finished their gathering and the duck would be given to their friends as a gift.
Gradually, more and more friends started asking for the dish and Xu and Su knew it would be a huge commercial opportunity.
So they made a huge mud stove at their store to stew the ducks on-site and visitors and local residents now flock to their restaurant as soon as they start cooking.
The customers not only just buy the ducks, they also post photos of the dish online, which brings more customers to the local restaurant.
Su and Xu said that they will continue discovering and promoting more traditional local dishes and make more people love Taicang delicacies.