There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.
Sun Tzu - the Art of War
A traditional Jiangsu dish called Pork in a sugar and vinegar sauce is considered the ancestor of one of the more popular Chinese dishes that is a staple at any American, Canadian, or British Chinese restaurant. Sweet and Sour Pork can be truly wonderful or an overly sweet mediocrity. You've all had the typical cheap "take out" version - Heavily battered Ping-pong ball-sized pieces of meat with the texture of Kevlar, laced with red food coloring and accompanied by canned pineapple.
For the HOTR version of Sweet and Sour Pork you start with a fine quality pork tenderloin which you marinate first in soy sauce and sweet rice wine. The result is a spoon tender piece of meat. The fruit and vegetables are fresh, not canned, and the sauce is ambrosia. It's not made with the cheapest version of vinegar and ketchup as you find in the typical Americanized versions. Rather it has a little plum sauce (that sweet hot spicy heaven that is mu shu pork) added into some Muir Glen Organic Tomato Ketchup (which has a fresh tomato taste with more of an undertone of cloves and cinnamon, than vinegar like most brands). Then the secret ingredients - oyster sauce, a dash of Worcestershire sauce (gives it a nice surprising depth) and lastly, some transparent rice vinegar.
The batter coats well but is delicate, and the meat remains tender and succulent. I'm not sure how well it keeps because I don't think there have been much in the way of leftovers.
Sun Tzu had it right.