Most Chinese condiments integral to the cuisine are so deeply rooted in the food that no one really knows when they were invented. XO sauce, however has a relatively short history.
According to rumors, XO Sauce was invented at the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel in the 1980s. The seafood sauce is a hodgepodge of unusual, pricey ingredients that requires much skill and time to make. The condiment has since become a staple in southern Chinese cooking, especially in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong.