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Condiments are vital to successful Chinese cooking and the Chinese have made picking the right brand and quality grade into an art form. Your chef may break down the differences between white and dark vinegars and soy sauces or types of garlic and chili. Some classes include basic knife and wok skills as well.  But all finish with eating your creations for lunch.

One of the best schools on the city is Hutongcusine, a family-run operation with kitchens overlooking a traditional courtyard used as the dining area in the summer. It also offers dumpling and noodle making.

Foodie walking tour
There are also two- to three-hour food-themed strolls around the capital that visit hidden gems in hutongs and well known culinary sites such as the “snack streets” of Wangfujing’s and Longfusi. You will sample traditional Beijing food and learn the meanings behind names like “donkey rolling on the ground”, a popular snack among Chinese Muslims, and “oil fried ghosts”, a breakfast treat. To understand China’s long love affair with cha you can even take a tea tasting safari, which often includes a captivating tea making ceremony. Hias Gourmet offers several excellent gastro tours.

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