Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House
Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House(zh-cp|c=马豫兴桶子鸡|p=Mǎ Yùxīng Tǒngzi Jī), located in
Kaifeng, China, is by some accounts the world's oldest restaurant. [The present restaurant in Kaifeng was re-established in the 19th century. See below.] It allegedly opened for business during the Jin Dynasty in 1153AD. [Stephens, John Richard, Weird History 101, p. 127] Having survived numerous wars, invasions, and dynasty changes, it still offers takeout food.
Despite its reputation, it is known that restaurants existed in Kaifeng before 1153, since there is documentation of them during the Northern era (960–1127) of the
Song Dynasty.Gernet, 133–134.]
Traditionally, "bucket chicken" is believed to originate from roast chickens sold in the markets of
Kaifeng, when it was the capital city during the Song Dynasty. The Ma family began trading in bucket chicken in Nanjing, in today's Jiangsu Province, after the Song Dynasty moved to the south.
In 1855, Ma Youren, a descendent of the original Mr Ma moved back to his ancestral home
Kaifeng, bringing with him a bucket of the traditional sauce. There, Ma Youren established the "Ma Yuxing Roast Chicken Shop" in 1864, specialising in bucket chicken. In 1954, a branch store was established in Zhengzhouwhen that city became the capital of Henan province.
Culture of the Song Dynasty
*Gernet, Jacques (1962). "Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276". Translated by H. M. Wright. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0720-0
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