According to a2zdirectory, Chinese cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. It impresses not only with the variety of dishes, but also with the original way of serving them. So, for example, all products should be cut as small as possible so that it is comfortable to eat them with chopsticks and exclude additional cutting of food directly on the plate. For the Chinese, it is important that the food must be attractive in appearance, have a good taste and a pleasant aroma. A feature of Chinese cuisine can also be called the fact that not five generally accepted tastes are distinguished here, but as many as eight. In addition to sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and salty, the Chinese also distinguish fragrant (a properly prepared dish has a special aroma), insipid (rice and bread are such for them) and even golden taste (similar to the taste of kumquat).
Cuisines of different regions and schools
Due to the fact that China is located on a vast territory, the climatic conditions in many regions of this country differ significantly from each other, their flora and fauna are different. And this, in turn, influenced the dietary habits in different Chinese provinces. Traditionally, four culinary schools are distinguished in the national cuisine of Cathay – Beijing cuisine, which is also called imperial, Catonian, Sichuan and Shanghai. Accordingly, they are inherent in the north, south, west and east of the country.
In the north of the country, rice is mostly grown, so it forms the basis of the local cuisine. Rice is served as an independent breakfast dish, and in addition to meat, fish or vegetables, it can be crumbly or viscous. Also in Beijing cuisine, special attention is paid to meat dishes, in particular lamb and the famous Peking duck. To prepare this dish, a special breed of birds is used, grown on special farms in compliance with a certain diet, as a result of which the duck meat becomes quite soft and juicy, and the skin is very thin. According to tradition, Peking duck must be cut into one hundred and twenty pieces, each of which should contain meat, fat, and a crisp.
Catonian, southern cuisine is distinguished by an abundance of fish dishes, and thanks to the Ming Dynasty living here, many of them are also extremely refined and unusual. In addition, Catonian cuisine is famous for its unconventional recipes, which include meat from cats and dogs, snakes and various insects. True, they are quite rare and in local restaurants you will most likely be offered to try something simpler. Tea houses are also common in this region, where you can not only drink traditional Chinese green tea, but also read a newspaper, arrange a business meeting or just relax with your family.
Sichuan cuisine is considered one of the best in China. This region is surprisingly fertile and has everything to prepare food worthy of the emperors themselves. Here, various spices and spices are especially often used, and the main method of preparation is steam processing or smoking. The most popular dishes of this cuisine are young chicken with peanuts, duck baked in green tea leaves, as well as original Chinese dumplings, for which there are more than two hundred varieties of fillings.
Shanghai cuisine has completely adopted all the culinary traditions of the two neighboring provinces – Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Here they prefer meat dishes with the addition of rice vodka, as well as various spices that give the meat (usually pork) a dark red color. Duck cooked in various ways is also popular here. Dishes of eel, octopus, hairy freshwater crab and other exotic seafood are traditional for Shanghai cuisine. It is here that the famous tofu is prepared – bean curd, which has a rather specific smell.
In general, it is impossible to imagine Chinese cuisine without rice, various cereals, noodles and flour products, and, of course, soy. Soy contains a very valuable vegetable protein, and is an excellent alternative to meat. Not only the world-famous sauce is made from soybeans, but also milk, butter and cottage cheese. In China, they try to eat as many vegetables as possible, among which Chinese cabbage occupies a special place. A feature of the culinary preferences in this country can be called the use of young bamboo shoots as food. As for meat, the Chinese are especially fond of pork and poultry meat, in particular duck and young chicken. In China, they eat strictly three times a day, and lunch always falls at noon, and dinner at six o’clock in the evening.