Genius is an attribution to be made with caution, but it can be made unhestitatingly in Su Dongpo's case. Considered by most critics as the most outstanding individual in the history of Chinese classical literature, his fecundity and fluency can be a true bewilderment to read, so much so that his prose is sometimes described as "mercurial".
Due to a series of demotions and rustications suffered, Su Dongpo had posted to many different places during his tenure. Born in Sichuan, he was posted to Hangzhou when he first gained office, then demoted to Mezhou, Zuzhou, Huzhou, exiled to Yingzhou, Huangzhou later on, demoted again to Yangzhou, Huizhou, and got exiled again to Danzhou, now Hainan Island at last. His tumultuous life finally ended on his way home en route Changzhou.
Given Su's mercurial popularity throughout China with time and space regardless, it requires no gift of whiz to tell all these places mentioned above have made claims of Dongpo Pork was invented by the genius when he's living in their place -- albeit how temporary the period was. As far as I can remember, the only
zhouplace that's not land a part in this mercurial promulgation phenomenon is Penzhou (賓州), which the abbreviation for Pennsylvania State (賓夕凡尼亞州) translated in Chinese! Trust me on this, I saw Dongpo Pork popped up in the menu even when I was dining in Sichuan.
On the other hand, there can be no mistake about where did the award-winning nouveau take of Dongpo Pork showing above come from. Inspired by Dongpo Pork traditionale, this version of pork belly stew was invented by the chef of Zhiweiguan 1913 and with which, swept major culinary contests across the country back in 2005.
Like Su's exquisitly cadenced prose, this pork calls for sublimely loftiness of style -- provocative yet without irreverent to the original. And because it's carved into layers of meaty, juicy chiffon, half lean and half fat, you can feel a mighty gusher of pork flavor surging in your mouth without any trace of greasiness. Leave it to the waitress to show, the chicest way to consume this ethereal pork is to embrace it together with the very flavorful dried cabbages underneath in a spinach pancake. A joy to even those who fear Dongpo Pork the most for its fattiness!