A century of inheritance of the cooking culture

Speaking from the traditional “wedding eggs”
Wenxi is located in the southern Shanxi Plain, in the northern part of the Yuncheng Basin. The mountains are like a screen, the rivers are like a belt, and Mingtiaogang and Emeiling are arched north and south. Wenxi has a long history, outstanding people, and profound cultural heritage. It is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. According to legend, Dong’s father, the dragon, was born in Dongze, and Hou Jiji was born in the foothills of Jiwang Mountain, teaching the people to harvest and plant grains. Within the territory of Wenxi, there is Tangwang Mountain where the king of Shang ancestor Tang set up an altar to worship the sky and held the founding ceremony of the country, the old capital of Jin Dynasty, Guquwo, and the overlord of the Spring and Autumn Period Jin Wengong. The exegetical master Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty once wrote here and said, The Pei family is famous at home and abroad.

Wenxi was called “Zuoyi” and “Tongxiang” in ancient times. In the sixth year of Yuanding in the Western Han Dynasty (111 BC), Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty went up against the Fenhe River and came to Wenxi to worship the Shang ancestor Tang Wang, and went to Zuoyi County Office, where Wen Guanjun broke down. The good news of Nanyue (now Guangdong) was merged with Zuoyi and Tongxiang to set up Wenxi County. It has been more than 2,100 years.

Folklore, as early as the Han Dynasty Wenxiren’s recipes, there appeared egg-shaped cakes. Every time the folks married, they used this kind of sweets to entertain guests, commonly known as “wedding eggs.” During the period of the Three Kingdoms, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties, “wedding eggs” became a popular food among Jin people and were widely used in important ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. It is said that during the Three Kingdoms period, the general Wu Qiujian and the cultural celebrity Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty loved this kind of delicacy very much; during the Pinghuaixi rebellion, Pei Du, a celebrity in the mid-Tang Dynasty, did not forget to bring it to comfort the army.

Three celebrities “endorsement”
Speaking of Wenxi cooked biscuits in Shanxi, we must first mention three celebrities: one is Emperor Kangxi, who gave it the name “Wenxi cooked biscuits” after tasting, and made it enter the court from the village market; the other is Lu Xun, In his novel “Wandering · Lonely”, he wrote the words “I brought two packages of cooked cakes to see friends”, which made it famous and famous for a long time. There is also a famous singer from Shanxi, Guo Lanying. During the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, the deputy secretary of Wenxi County Party Committee and Wenxi County Party Committee took more than 2,000 packages of Wenxi to cook biscuits and went to North Korea to condolences to the volunteer soldiers. They became the favorite food of the “loveliest people” in our hearts, and biscuits became synonymous with Wenxi. .

I believe that the weight of the three celebrities definitely deserves to be the best spokesperson for Wenxi Cooked Cakes.

Wenxi cooking cakes began in the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty and has a history of more than 300 years. According to legend, when the Emperor Kangxi (1662 AD) traveled through Wenxi, Wenxi officials and gentry chose famous teachers to hold a banquet to welcome the holy driver. During the banquet, the emperor felt that other delicacies were bland and tasteless, except that the cooked cakes had a unique taste, a long aftertaste, and the food was very beautiful. He couldn’t help asking his name. Because of the homophony of “married egg” and “jerk”, the officials searched for a bad heart and wanted to take an auspicious name to please the emperor. However, because the emperor suddenly asked questions, he was speechless and speechless. Then the memorial said: This is a cake for wishing birthdays and adding joy and blessings, and there is no official name. When Kangxi learned that it was Wenxi Tegon, he was overjoyed. In addition, the people in southern Shanxi called “fried” as “cooked”, so he gave it the name “Wenxi cooked cake”. From then on, the folk “wedding egg” was passed down from generation to generation under the name Wenxi Boiled Cake.

According to records from Shanxi: During the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty to the eve of the Anti-Japanese War, Wenxi cooked cakes were exported to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Hainan Island, Jinan, Kaifeng, Xi’an, Lanzhou, Ningxia, Chengdu, Taiyuan and other places. Known as “China’s first cake”. All large and small shops that sell groceries, food, and grains and oils have signs selling Wenxi biscuits.

Origin of “Yongxianghe”
According to the book “The Feelings of the Past”, the ancestors of the Hu family belonged to Anhui people, and the same ancestor of the Hui merchant Hu Xueyan family, moved from Bengbu, Anhui to Shanxi in the mid-Ming Dynasty.

The ancestor Hu Taisheng was very clever since he was a child. He had studied at a private school in his early years and he never forgot. He had an ambition to pursue a career since he was a child. The three brothers lost their father in the early years. He compared his brother to his father and led the brothers to engage in simple businesses to support their families. In the early Qing Dynasty, after exploration and inspection, he led the three brothers to settle down in Jingyang County, Shaanxi. In the beginning, he rented a house and opened a shop, named “Tong Shun Lao”, and operated cakes and foods, because he always adhered to the creed of “honesty, trustworthiness, and conscientiousness”. Later, he bought local grain, cotton, medicinal materials, etc. and sold them to other places. Because of its honesty and proper management, it has won an excellent reputation in the local area. The local legend once circulated that “there was a tongshun guy first, then a bridgehead”. The prototype of the Hu family in Jingyang County is the ancestor in the TV series “The Flower Blooms That Year The Moon Is Full. During the Qing Dynasty, he used the profits he made in Jingyang to build three large courtyards in his hometown, the South Courtyard, the North Courtyard, and the East Courtyard. A woodcut plaque was hung on the door of the tall hall, engraved with the four characters “Ancestral Training”. Always remind future generations not to forget the ancestral training. Hanging on the wall of the hall is a large woodcut of “Honorable and Respectful · I wish Mr. Hu the seventh rank of prosperity”, which shows his high reputation. Under the care and guidance of his elders, the concept of “honesty, trustworthiness, and dedication” has been passed on from generation to generation, and business is getting better and better. It was not until 1877 that the court was corrupt, the country was weak and the people were poor, the invasion of foreign powers, and the social turmoil, coupled with the ugly famine in the third year of Guangxu, and the lack of agricultural harvests, made the shop unsustainable and the family returned to their hometown.

In the 16th year of Guangxu (AD 1890) after returning to his hometown, inspired by the spirit of the ancestors, the descendants of Hu Qingtai were unwilling to be mediocre, and inherited the mantle of their ancestors, and partnered with their relatives Cheng Si to open a shop in Wenxi Old West Street, making cakes and cooking. The memorial supplies such as cakes and incense candles are named “Yongxianghe”. In the eighth year of the Republic of China (AD 1919), Hu’s elder son-in-law Chen Shizhang took over the shop, and the shop was revived.

A hundred years of inheritance
Rumor has it that the biscuits have appeared in the Han Dynasty and passed to the Qing Dynasty. Since Kangxi, they have given the name to the party. In the seventeenth year of the Republic of China (AD 1928), there was a severe drought at Wenxi, and there was no harvest of wheat grains. The raw materials for cooking cakes were scarce and expensive. Shops such as Chengyixiang and Yongxianghe closed one after another. In the 18th year of the Republic of China (AD 1929), Hu’s elder son-in-law Chen Shizhang and Xi Shuanglin of the county seat, and Zhang Qinzhi of Li’ao village regrouped, and opened the “Heji Sincerity Xiang” Wenxi Biscuit Workshop on the site of the Yongxianghe Store on Old West Street in the county seat. , Continue to produce and sell Wenxi cooked cakes. In the 27th year of the Republic of China (AD 1938), on the second day of the second month of the lunar calendar, the Japanese army occupied Wenxi, the “Heji Chengyixiang” personnel fled and production ceased.

In the winter of 1939, Chen Shizhang partnered with Liu Changtai and Xi Shuanglin to form “Shuangsheng Heji Sincerity Xiang” on the original site to produce and sell Wenxi biscuits. In 1946, Liu Changtai received his apprentice Wang and transferred to the “Shuangsheng Heji Sincerity”, where he learned and crafted to impart skills. In 1956, a public-private joint venture, and its workshops and shops were merged to form the “Wenxi State-owned Non-staple Food Factory”, located in Donghekou Village, Wenxi County, with Wang Zhuan as a technician.