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Chinese Regional Food

Chinese cuisine has a very long tradition and now is enjoyed by people all over the world. There are four main types of Chinese food:

  1. Northern or Beijing
  2. Cantonese
  3. Sichuan
  4. Huaiyang or Eastern cuisine.

Beijing Food

Beijing food is the most famous food in China. Cooks from all over the country used to travel to the capital to participate in cooking contests organized by the imperial family.

The northern part of China has a very cold climate. The region is unable to grow rice, and therefore wheat is the food base. Northern Chinese eat more breads than their compatriots in the south, where rice predominates.

Perhaps the most famous northern dish is Beijing Duck. Mongolian hot-pots and sweet-and-sour dishes from the Henan province are also popular.

Cantonese Food

Cantonese food is typically steamed, boiled or stir-fried. It is a very healthy food, since it uses a minimum of oil. The main ingredients of this type of Chinese food are seafood, pork, chicken and vegetables. Dim Sum and Fried Rice are also characteristic.

There are no limits to what you may find in your bowl. As one Chinese proverb goes: "Cantonese eat every thing that flies except planes, every thing on the ground except cars, and every thing that is in water except boats."

Sichuan Food

What is typical of this southwestern province of China is the spicy taste of its food. If you want to eat "la," as people say in Chinese, try the Sichuan pepper beef. Many Sichuan dishes are prepared using chili pepper oil, which gives a special taste to the food.

The most famous Sichuan dish is the Gongbao (Kung Pao) chicken, fried with peanuts and chili pepper.

Huaiyang Food

Huaiyang food is probably the most popular Chinese food in North America, with its steam cooking. Soups are also a very important element. Huaiyang is the home of "red cooking," a method of cooking food in a marinade made of soya sauce, water, sugar, ginger and white wine.

Noodles come from the Yangzi river region. The southern city of Nanjing is famous for its duck dishes. Shanghai has its own specialties, including stir-fried dishes

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