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Where can you find typical Chinese dishes?
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13:34, September 21, 2007

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One of our readers sent us a letter saying that a magazine survey showed that 90% of the people being asked think that Chinese dishes are the most delicious in the world. Indeed, Chinese food culture has a long history and tradition. Eating is not just a way of filling the stomach, but also an art and a culture.

China is a vast country. Due to the different geography, climate and products in different areas, food culture and customs are also different; thus forming different schools of food and dishes in various areas. Before the Qing Dynasty(1644-1911), there were only two schools of dishes--northern and southern dishes. However, during the Qing Dynasty, there were the Lu, Yue, Huaiyang, Sichuan, Min, Zhejiang, Xiang and Hui schools of food and dishes. They are also called the 8 main schools of Chinese dishes.

Lu dishes
Lu dishes came from the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period (770-221B.C.), and formed a school during the Qin and Han dynasties (221B.C.). After the Song Dynasty, Lu dishes became typical northern dishes in Beijing, Tianjin, and three provinces in northeast China. Lu dishes are also divided into Jiaodong dishes, Jinan dishes and Confucius home dishes.
Recommendation
Restaurant: Chunjiang Restaurant on No.56 Youth League Road, Central district, Jinan city, Shandong Province
Dishes: Jiuzhuan dachang--Nine turns of large intestines
Tangcu Liyu---Sweet and sour carp
Congshao Haisen--Cooked sea cucumber with Chinese onion and sugar
Average price is 50 yuan (7 USD) per person

Yue dishes
Yue dishes are Canton dishes, developed from three types of dishes coming from Guangzhou, Chaozhou and Dongjiang. Although they came later, they have had a greater influence. Many restaurants in Hong Kong and Macao, as well as in many other countries in the world, cook Canton dishes. The taste of Canton dishes is light, fresh and a little sweet. It also changes slightly with different seasons.
Recommendation
Restaurant: Bingsheng Restaurant on No. 33 Dongxiao Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong province
Dishes: Cuipi Chashao--Crackling barbecued pork
Chiyou Huang'e chang--Stir-fried goose's intestines with lobster sauce
Jinsha Tangyuan--Golden boiled balls
Tanshao Zhujingrou--Charcoal-baked pig-neck meat
Average price is 70 yuan (10 USD) per person

Huaiyang dishes
Huaiyang dishes are a combination of Huaiyin and Yangzhou dishes. They came from the Spring and Autumn period, and became popular between the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and Ming and Qing Dynasties. These dishes enjoy a reputation of being "the first taste in southeast China and the most delicious dishes in the world." There are three characteristics of Huaiyang dishes---first are the fine ingredients, mostly locally produced; second is the method of fine cutting; and the third is a focus on the taste of the ingredients themselves.
Recommendation
Restaurant: Shiweitian Restaurant--Meiling East Restaurant on No.20 Shikefa Road, Weiyang District, Yangzhou city, Jiangsu province
Dishes: Maxiang Yazhang--Delicious duck palm with hot and numb taste
Xiefen Shizitou--Lion-head with crab powder
Furong Yulanpian--Stir-fried lotus and yulan petals
Qingchao Xiaren--Stir-fried prawns

Sichuan Dishes
Sichuan dishes are a combination of Chengdu, Chongqing, Leshan, Zigong, and Luzhou dishes; and are divided into two schools--Chengdu and Chongqing.
Sichuan dishes are very spicy and hot because they use many ingredients including onion, ginger, garlic, chili, white pepper, brown pepper, vinegar, soya beans, catsup and fermented rice so that the taste is a combination of sour, sweet, bitter, hot, fragrant and salty; while the fragrances can be of fish, numb hot, sour hot, fried with hot red pepper or chili oil and other odd fragrances.
Recommendation
Restaurant: Hongxiang Restaurant in No. 289 Shuhan Road, Jinniu District, Chengdu city, Sichuan province
Dishes: Tiaoshuitu--Diving rabbit,
Shanyufensi--Stir-fried eel with bean noodles,
Huiguorou--Spicy stir-fried pork.
Gongbaojiding--Stir-fried sliced chicken
with peanuts and chili,
Fuqi Feipian--lungs from the cow.
Suanni Bairou--Boiled chicken with garlic.
Average price is 60 yuan per person


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