Symbol of summer

( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-07-28 10:15:01

Although chuan (barbeque skewered food) can be seen in Beijing throughout the year, more restaurants serve them during summer and new stalls are seen mushrooming at almost every corner.

How do you know if a restaurant serves chuan or pronounced chuan'r with an "r" in Beijing? Look out for the red illuminating Chinese character that looks like two pieces of meat on a skewer outside the shops. But most shops not only serve meat chuan. There is usually a choice of all kinds of food - seafood, vegetable and animal parts. The most common is lamb chuan. It is said that chuan originated from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in Northwest China. But many other restaurants, not necessarily those with chefs from Xinjiang, have also made chuan as part of their menu. Attempts by municipal authorities to ban outdoor chuan stalls to combat the air pollution have not reduced the popularity of the age-old food culture.

Symbol of summer

Two grill masters spice up some skewers as they prepare for the evening rush. Chuan is a summer time night snack in Beijing. [Cui Meng/China Daily]

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