Su Dongpo: The Eternal Optimist

By / HIMC / Updated: 17:01,18-February-2023

A revolutionary Chinese politician, writer, calligrapher, and painter, he suffered from great injustice but remained eternally optimistic. Though he was a great official for a time, he was still willing to get his hands dirty plowing the fields with the common man. 

Once the rising star of the Song Dynasty court, he spent much of his later life in exile. Zhonghe town in Danzhou was the final stop in his turbulent life.

He is Su shi, also known as Su Dongpo, who you may know as the humble genius who once graced the imperial palace before establishing his own palace of learning in Danzhou after his fall from grace.

One thing that very few people know, however, is that Su Shi was also a foodie.

Throughout his life, Su Shi traveled throughout China, either on official business or as a rebel in exile. Wherever he went, be it Huangzhou, Huizhou or Danzhou, he always developed an attachment. Su Shi’s optimism and open-mindedness enabled him to use food to heal his suffering and brighten up his life during the bitter conditions of his relegation, adding a few unusual dishes to today's dining table along the way.

Though this literary great passed away nearly a thousand years ago, he is still greatly admired by the people of China today.



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