SHAN ZU LEGEND

Legend of SHAN ZU

Shan Zu is a female chef in the Tang dynasty (619-907), all famous dishes in YawYang Essays came form her. The book YawYang Essays was written by Duan Chengshi, who is son of the most noted prime minister Duan Wenchang. Duan Wenchang was loyal to four Emperors in Tang dynasty, and Tang, a period of great prosperity, which has the best economy at that time, in politics, all other countries followed by Tang, cooking is even better ! So, obviously Duan was a remarkable man at that time.

Shan Zu was not Shan Zu, she was named Yan Hong, one of the servants in Duan’s kitchen. Duan has a special hobby - cooking, he’s so keen on cooking and he was a master of cooking who always wanted to find a people to succeed him. Why not his son little Duan? Oh, well. The son only love enjoy the food not cooking, that’s why he could create the most classic book which now is extinct. Reluctantly, he was planning on finding someone in his kitchen, he asked all servants in his kitchen cook for him, and he tasted one by one, at last he found the girl named Yan Hong, he thought she was exactly the one he’s looking for, then he asked, ’Yan, are you willing to be my student, succeed to all my skills ?’ Yan was more astonished than surprised at that moment, she was confused, she was appreciated that she could get a thing in the prime minister mansion, but what happened, why is the prime minister want her, a country girl, to be his student ? How’s that possible ? Then Yan said, ‘Your humber servant was really happy, but your humber servant was just a country girl, and was not supposed to be the student of you, the most noble prime minister. ’ Duan was even more happy after learning her thought and he said, ‘There’s no grades in learning, only when you strive to learn and be patient since you have great talent in cooking filed, you must make my cooking bloom, so i must take you as my student, will you or not?’ Never thought that the country’s prime minister would compel a servant to be his student... But since the master said in this way, Yan was happy to agree. After a long time learning, Yan was completely known the whold method of Duan’s cooking, also created lots of new recipes. Then, how did Shan Zu come from ?

Duan was greatly happy for having a student who has no opponent in the world, then he thought that he can’t own her in his small world, he should let her go out to the whole country. He took her to the palace and cook for the emperor, after the meal, the emperor was greatly pleased and praised, ‘ the girl is the best of Shan Shi (which means food, just similar to Shan food in ancient China ), Shan Shi Zhi Zu, Shan Shi Zhi Zu (which means the ancestor of  cooking, zu=ancestor, zhi=of, change to English way, zu zhi Shan Shi...) ’ Duan won’t let go of this chance since the emperor said so, then he said, ‘your majesty, why not just give her the name Shan Zu, it could show that our country cherish talented people, and we’re always willing to have talented people to make us stronger and more prosperous, help your majesty buid illustrious achievements’ Emperor was touched by these words, that’s how SHAN ZU spread to the world