I am personally grateful that my time in China was in Shandong Provence because this farm friendly area is known for the type of food I am partial too…and not hot 'n spicy like other Chinese area cuisines. The variety of fish is impressive, even if I couldn't touch most of it. My students from other parts of the country complain that the food in Jinan is too salty. Everyone is a food critic in China and fiercely loyal to their local cuisine. I marveled at the skillful use of garlic; never garlicky like Italian cuisine. The previous blog mentioned 8 cuisines of China. Blair presented a little bit more information.
Food means a lot to Chinese people, there is an idiom in China: "People make food their god." It is no exaggeration to say that Chinese cuisine is dainty in its items, esthetics, atmosphere and effects.
China can be divided into many geographic areas and each area has a distinct style of cooking. To be specific, there are 8 types: Sichuan Cuisine, Shandong Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine.
Sichuan Cuisine is famous for it hot and spicy taste with the perfect use of pepper.
Shandong Cuisine is the local flavor of Jinan City and Jiaodong peninsula derived from the use of shallots and garlic.
Guangdong dishes use fine and rare ingredients cooked with polished skill in a dainty style. It emphasizes a flavor which is clear but not light, refreshing but not common, tender but not crude.
Hunan Cuisine lays a stress on the use of oil, dense color, techniques that produce crispness, softness and tenderness as del as the savory flavors and spices.
Fujian Cuisine has 4 distinctive features: fine cutting techniques, alternative soups, unique seasonings, and exquisite cooking.
The main techniques of Jiangsu Cuisine are braising and stewing, thereby enhancing the original flavor and sauce.
The chief techniques of cooking Zhejiang Cuisine lie in the methods used such as frying, quick-fry, stir-fry, braising and steaming thus rendering the dishes both salubrious and savory.
Anhui Cuisine has less fried or quick-fried dishes than those that are braised. People there are inclined to add ham as seasoning and sugar candy to enrich the freshness and are quite accomplished in the art of cooking.
Medicinal food is food with the function of dietetic therapy which is made by taking medicine and food as materials and processing them through cooking. It is the product of the combination of Chinese traditional medical knowledge and cooking experience.
Chinese New Year foods are very important to Chinese people. All family members come together to eat at this time. Chinese New Year foods are not only delicious but it is traditional to eat certain foods over this festival. Chinese Dumplings, Fish, Spring Rolls, Nian Gao are usually seen as delicious and eaten at this time.
Most Chinese vegetarians are Buddhists, following the Buddhist teachings about minimizing suffering. In addition, many Yoga practicers in China are vegetarians or vegans. Nowadays, in order to keep healthy and fit, more and more Chinese people who are not vegetarians or vegans, tend to not eat meat from time to time.
Every dish of Chinese food has its advantages and contains different parts of Chinese culture. You shouldn't miss even one of them!