Goat meat or sheep meat in traditional Chinese dietetics

In Poland, it seems that people rarely eat mutton, not to mention the meat of goats. In the history of Han Chinese, goat meat has been an important source of meat since the stone age.

In China there are a lot of stories related to goats. In 607 BC, there was a battle between the Song State and the Zheng State, which were two feudal states of the Zhou Dynasty. Before the battle, Hua Yuan, the commander of the Song’s army, ordered to kill goats and let his warriors feast on the meat, but didn’t give one piece of meat to his chariot’s driver who was named Yang Zhen. Maybe it was a joke, but Yang Zhen hated this. After the battle started, Yang Zhen said to Hua Yuan, “The distribution of the meat of goats was decided by you. However, today’s matter is decided by me.” He drove the chariot into the army of the Zheng State. Hua Yuan then became a captive, and the Song’s army was defeated.

When I studied in the Shaanxi Province, I often ate food with the meat of goats. At that time in Shaanxi, you could see a lot of goats in villages. At leisure time some old villagers walking one or two goats, like urban residents walk one or two dogs. The meat of goats had a strong special smell.

Shanxi and Henan neighbor Shaanxi. The soup of goat meat is well-known in the provinces. Between 2017 and 2018, I drove my car to visit historic sites in Henan and Shanxi. When I felt tired, I liked to eat the soup of goat meat in roadside restaurants.

Local roast white flat bread is always paired with the soup of goat meat. The food is called soup with flat bread. In the third century, there was a handsome man named He Yan. His face was very white. The emperor thought that He Yan coated his face with white powder. In a summer day, he invited He Yan to eat hot soup with flat bread. After eating the food, He Yan wiped the sweat of his face. His face was still white and became brighter.

In southern China, goat meat or mutton is not daily food. Goat meat or mutton is generally made into roast meat. However, in the city of Suzhou, there is a kind of delicious food, which is thin noodles with mutton. When I lived in Shanghai, I liked to eat mutton noodles in the winter.

In traditional Chinese dietetics, goat meat or the mutton meat can warm the body of a human. Zhang Zhongjing, who was called medical sage by Chinese people, had a recipe called “Dang Gui Sheng Jiang Yang Rou Tang”. The recipe uses goat meat, Dang Gui and ginger pieces. The recipe can warm the abdomen, nourish blood, adjust menstruation, and dispel coldness. It is a well-known recipe to relieve the pain of abdomen caused by the deficiency of Yang. For women, it is an effective recipe to relieve menstrual pain caused by the deficiency of Yang.

In Kraków, I once ate mutton pierogi. When I was eating mutton pierogi, I remembered the days that I ate dumplings with filling of goat meat in Shaanxi. I heard that in Poland the mutton of Podhale is very delicious. I hope I can visit there someday.

Below are two pictures that were taken on October 27, 2017 in Houma, Shanxi. The first picture shows a big cauldron of soup of goat meat. The second picture shows a local way of eating the soup of goat meat. The golden food is fried twisted dough which is called Mahua.

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