It is a general misconception that all
Chinese eat only lemon chicken and sweat and sour pork, the fact
is the local Chinese restaurant in your neighborhood may be a
far cry from the cuisine of some parts of China.
China's geography divides Chinese cuisine into four major
regions: the north, where you will find Beijing and the
Mongolian border; the south, famous for the Cantonese cooking of
the Guangdong Province; the west of Szechwan and Hunan
Provinces; and the "Shanhai" east.
The northern region of China reaches into the hostile climate of
Mongolia, pork is not popular in this area as there are many
Muslims in the region, so mutton and lamb play a big part as the
meat. Rice does not grow well in the region so the main starch
comes from wheat, barley, millet and soybeans making breads,
pancakes and noodles popular. Commonly used vegetables and
fruits include leeks, onions, and garlic, cabbage, squash,
pears, grapes, and apples.
Cantonese cuisine of the South is perhaps, the most famous style
of cooking due to many Cantonese who emigrated to America.
Cantonese cooks use a subtle use of tasty sauces and specialize
in stir-frying, steaming, and roasting a wide variety of meats,
poultry, and seafood.
The Szechuan area is mountain-filled landlocked area that has
developed a unique style that was possible influenced by Indian
and Spanish traders along the silk route that runs through the
area. Szuechuan Cuisine often uses plenty of spices and chilies
and prefer pungent vegetables like the garlic and onion.
Eastern China Cuisine encompasses Zhejiang, Fujian, and Jiangsu
cuisines and with a large seaboard fish and seafood is very
popular, the area benefits from both rice and wheat grown in the
area. the area is famous for its west lake style meals and a
method of cooking in dark soy sauce called red cooking.
All meals are eastern with chopsticks and soup is drunk with a
wide spoon. most meals includes the starch of rice, noodles,
bread, or pancakes a meat dish, vegetable, and the soup. all
courses are served at once unless it is a banquet which will
have many more smaller courses.