Chongqing’s abandoned WWII air raid shelters have become home to the cave hotpot, a spicy dish dating back to 16th century China.
Some like it hot: eating spicy in China’s WWII shelters
The city of Chongqing, dubbed one of China’s four “furnace” cities, is known for both soaring temperatures and spicy cuisine — notably its hotpot, a peppery bubbling tabletop broth into which diners dunk bite-size pieces of food to cook and eat.
The inland metropolis on the Yangtze River has the perfect escape to enjoy hotpot, even in what has been a summer of unusually stifling heat: World War II-era air raid shelters, converted into restaurants, where the temperature is naturally cooler.
Locals call it “cave hotpot”.
Chongqing was the temporary capital of China during World War II, as a Japanese invasion drove the government out of the then-capital, Nanjing, and occupied eastern China. Leader Chiang Kai-shek, the military, foreign diplomats and others set up in what was then a remote city in the southwest.