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Introduction to Chinese Food

 2013-11-05    Jennies    Food    Guangzhou    4462  

Like its unique geographic position, China, as the most representing country from oriental world, has a profound and integrated food culture through thousands of years. People living in this vast land formed different living habits in term of different local climate, terrains and religions.  These different life styles assisted to build different local food culture and in turn made the national food culture a complex entity.


Generally, the national food culture is typically described with four characters, northern people favor salty food, and southerners favor sweet, eastern folk like spicy yet western people like sour. But this is only a saying at a general level, in real life, people from the middle and southwest like spicy food as much as people from Xinjiang which locates in the west of the country. So in order to be able to know the Chinese food culture one has to go to every single place of the country to experience the local food.

Due to too many different definitions about taste of good food it’s quite difficult to define a genuine food/meal as the representative of Chinese food. Dumplings may be the only choice since it is a traditional food served for the Chinese New Year: the spring festival. Yet there are maybe thousands of recipes about the contents of dumplings so it maybe also takes a long time to try them all. It is as much difficult as to define the national flower as well based upon variable opinions:  there are just too many people in the country and it is not easy to hold their opinions together most of the time.

However, after the evolution of over two thousand years’ cooking Chinese have reached a common agreement about the eight most famous and recommendable food systems, they are: Lu cuisine (Shandong province), Zhe cuisine (Zhejiang province), Yue cuisine (Guangdong province), Hui cuisine (Anhui province), Chuan cuisine (Sichuan province), Xiang cuisine (Hunan province), Su cuisine (Jiangsu province) and Min cuisine (Fujian province). 

The provinces named above are mostly located in the east and south of China because these areas are developed faster than other places of the country. The perception of this food culture influences Chinese generation after generation. There are, of course, very tasty food in other places of the country, it’s only because they are not as systematic as these mentioned eight food systems.


If you are going to travel to China, the best idea to experience food from different places is clearer today, which is to go to some major mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou. The economic development has driven quite a lot of people of other cities to flood into them in search of better opportunities of money and luck. Thus businessmen see the opportunities and open up characteristic restaurants to fulfill both the feeling of freshness for the local and the immigrants’ homesickness. In this case one may find it very convenient to get the “job” done.

A single spite of each famous Chinese food causes years before you have tried all of them, we’ll then take a short tour to introduce some great and exceptional food that highlight the Chinese food culture.




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