Universally recognized as one of the great cuisines of the world, Chinese food in all its variety and complexity is unquestionably one of the finest pleasures a visitor can experience in China.
China’s vast territory and long history have given birth ot distinct regional cuisines over the centuries. The precise number of regional cuisines in China is still under dispute, but experts agree on at least eight: Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong(Cantonese), Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Huan and Anhui, the eight provinces in China.
1. Sichuan Cuisine
Of the eight major schools of China’s culinary art, Sichuan Cuisine is perhaps the most popular. It is well-known for its hot and pungent flavouring.
2. Shandong Cuisine
Includes many well-known seafood dishes. The dishes are usually fresh, tasy, but not greasy. It has been influenced by the “Confucius Family Dishes”, which are renowned for their taste, aroma, colour and shape.
3. Guangdong Cuisine
Known as Cantonese Cuisine in the West, was developed in Guangzhou, Huizhou and Chaozhou, and Hainan Island. As the climate of Guangdong is hot, these dishes are fresh, tender, and lightly seasoned. The raw material for Guangdong Cuisine is very rich, which includes snake, cat and pangolin. Cooked snake is considered a delicacy.
4. Jiangsu Cuisine
Developed from the local food of the four cities, Suzhou, Yangshou, Nanjing and Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Cuisine is popular in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is characteristically sweet.
5. Zhejiang Cuisine
Developed from the local food of the four cities in Zhejiang province: Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Wenzhou. Zhejiang Cuisine makes crisp, tender, light and fresh dishes.
6. Fujian Cuisine
Fujian Cuisine is developed from the local food of the three cities of Fujian province: Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Xiamen. This region is very close to the sea and seafood making is, of course, the chef’s culinary art. They are good at steaming, frying, braising the food, particularly good at pickling the ingredients before cooking.
7. Hunan Cuisine
It is developed from the local food of the Xiangjiang valley, Dongting Lake area, and western mountainous Hunan province. Its characteristics are: a great variety of ingredients, shiny and strong colors, hot and spicy tastes, smoked and pickled flavors. Cooking techniques are pickling, smoking, spicing, simmering, steaming, braising and frying.
8. Anhui Cuisine
It is developed from the local food at the Yangtze banks in Anhui province, the Huai River valley, and Huizhou region. Its characteristics are natural ingredients selected, temperature and timing of cooking closely observed, original color and flavor preserved. Deep-frying, roasting, simmering and steaming are the usual cooking techniques applied.
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