Food and Culture

Chinese Cuisine – What Is It?

Chinese food, more popularly known as Chinese food is a very broad term that encompasses a wide variety of regional influences. Chinese cuisine is very diverse and can be found in any number of places around the world and is even more widely available today thanks to the growing popularity of Chinese immigrants to different regions all over the world. Chinese cuisine is a very important aspect of Chinese culture and consists of cuisines originated from many regions of China and from Overseas Chinese that have now settled into other parts of the western world.

There are three main regions in which Chinese cuisine is rooted: Northern China (Beijing city), Sichuan (Sichuan province) and Taiwan. Each of these regions has a unique influence on the ingredients and techniques used in Chinese cooking. Northern China is the birthplace of Chinese cuisine and it shares a lot of its roots with Northern Chinese cooking such as the braised meats especially pork, and wheat dishes. Sichuan is famous for its spiced dishes made with ginger and various spices, whereas Taiwan cuisine owes much of its reputation to the hot and spicy seafood that is often found in the country.

Chinese cooking styles also differ because of geographical location and time. The Cantonese culture is characterized by their complex and detailed preparations while the Hunanese relies on the simpler and straightforward nature of their style. Northern Chinese cuisines are characterized by their use of ingredients such as green onion and scallions while Southern Chinese cuisine often relies on herbs, fruits and vegetables. Many modern Chinese people use meat as part of their diet and have a deep respect for the preparation of authentic Chinese food.