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( chinadaily.com.cn )
Chinese cuisine has an ancient and prized tradition, which has become loved all over the world. Like any cultural food, it has developed through great care over the centuries, and is known for a fine selection of ingredients, and a balancing of preparation, nourishment and how much cooking is relied on. To a large degree, climate, availability of produce, and tastes are just some of the important historical factors that influence the unique style of local dishes. There are four major flavours in Chinese cuisine, Shandong, Sichuan, Huaiyang and Guangdong (Cantonese). Though there are often a few more added. Below is a list of the ten most common local cuisines:
Guangdong Cuisine: known for its freshness and the tenderness of the meat, this uses an assortment of birds, freshwater and saltwater fish and snakes.
Shandong Cuisine: the extensive selection of ingredients are used in many different ways, with soups being the most widely known, and the green onion used for seasoning.
Sichuan Cuisine: Sichuain dishes are famous for there spicy taste and the flavour of the Chinese Prickly ash. Seasonings and care are applied to each unique dish.
Huaiyang Cuisine: cooled with care and skill, the food retains the original taste of the ingredients and a subtle taste and skillful presentation characterises the dishes of this cuisine.
Anhui Cuisine: typical dishes for this cuisine include smoked duck, Wenzheng Bamboo's Shoots and Feiwang Fish cooked with Milk. The cuisine incorporates the areas of South Anhui, Yanjiang and Huai Bei in its style of dishes.
Beijing Cuisine: most known for its roasted duck and its sliced mutton, as well as being popular for braised shark's fin, the food is often varied and delicious.
Hunan Cuisine: famous for its fledgling chicken dishes, including hot-spiced and peppered and Dong'an fledgling chicken, as well as steamed pickled meats.
Zhejiang Cuisine: the areas this cuisine covers range from Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing and Wenzhou. Well known dishes include Dragon well shrimp, Huofang with honey and West lake carp with vinegar sauce.
Fujian Cuisine: most commonly known for dishes such as Buddha-jumping-over-the-wall, a mixture of different ingredients said to be so good, even Buddha would jump over a wall to get hold of it! Common dishes also include mussels boiled in chicken broth, and flaked spiral shell which has been lightly pickled in rice wine.
Shanghai Cuisine: combining a variety of seafood with bright colours and unique tastes, this cuisine often features dishes with a slightly sweet flavour. The dishes often contain think and mellow juices, and use a large amount of oil in the coking process. Rice as a staple is preferred over noodles and other wheat products.