Where ever you travel across the world, one thing will follow you everywhere that is the Chinese cuisine. The liberalization of economies of world and globalization has given the food industries to break its boundaries and gain popularity worldwide. Chinese cuisine is the most popular cuisine in the world. Chinese Cuisine is a term for styles of food originating in the regions of China, many of which have become extremely popular in other parts of the world i.e. from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. Where there are historical immigrant Chinese populations, the style of food has evolved - for example, American Chinese cuisine and Indian Chinese cuisine are prominent examples of Chinese cuisine that has been adapted to suit local palates.
Chinese cuisine has a long history, and is one of the Chinese cultural treasures. It is as famous all over the world as French cuisine. Chinese cookery has developed and matured over the centuries, forming a rich cultural content It is characterized by fine selection of ingredients, precise processing, particular care to the amount of fire, and substantial nourishment. Local flavors and snacks, and special dishes have formed according to regions, local products, climate, historical factors, and eating habits.
The vastness of China`s geography and history echoes through the polyphony of Chinese cuisine. To begin, it is best to divide Chinese cuisine, with all the appropriate disclaimers and caveats, into that of four major regions: the northern plains including Beijing; the fertile east watered by the Yangtse River, the south which is famous for the Cantonese cooking of the Guangdong Province and the fecund west of Szechwan and Hunan Provinces.
Canton is, perhaps, the most famous of the food areas in Chinese cuisine. Long, warm, wet days throughout the year create the perfect environment for cultivating almost everything. The coast provides ample sea food, the groves are filled with fruits. Cooking methods and recipes here are sophisticated and varied. Since the local produce is so gorgeous, the cooking highlights its freshness, relying less on loud sauces and deep-frying.
To the mountainous west, in Szechwan and Hunan provinces of Chinese cuisine, steamy heat and spicy foods fill the plates. Rice grows abundantly, as do citrus fruits, bamboo and mushrooms. The spiciness of the food tells of locally grown chilles and the inclinations of the local palate, though some say the spices are used to mask the taste of foods that rot quickly in the heat. To the east of Hunan lies `the land of fish and rice.` Like the west in latitude, it has the added bonus of lowlands for rice cultivation and a rich ocean`s edge for fish.
The northern region of China reaches into the hostile climate of Mongolia - land of the Gobi Desert and Arctic winter winds which adds a different color to Chinese cuisine. Mongolian influence appears in the prevalence of mutton and lamb - many in the region are Muslim, so pork is forbidden and in the nomadic simplicity of the Mongolian fire pot. The north is not amenable to rice cultivation so, wheat, barley, millet and soybeans are the staples; breads and noodles anchor the meal. The vegetables and fruits - cabbage, squash, pears, grapes, and apples - are like those grown in North America. Beijing is the pearl of the region; royal haute cuisine was born and bred inside her walls. However, the centuries and the accumulated wisdom of China`s best chefs have conspired to make imperial cuisine an incredible achievement that belongs to all of China.
The combined Chinese cuisine have often been compared to French cuisine as having made the greatest contribution to the world of food. Chinese cuisine can be divided into eight major cuisines: Shandong Cuisine, Sichuan Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine. Due to the differences in geography and cookery styles, each province prepares and serves food in its own distinctive way.
Guangdong Chinese Cuisine: Guangdong cuisine was created by the Cantonese in Southeast China. The food is apt to be fried, deep-fried or braised but should not be greasy. With the emphasis on delicate flavors, this cuisine does not use heavy spices. An abundance of raw meats are used and some of them can be quite unusual, such as snakes and suckling mice.
Shandong Chinese Cuisine: Shandong Province in northeast of China adjoins the Pacific Ocean, so its signature dishes contain seafood. The cuisine is inclined to be salty, fresh, crispy and tender; and it contains Chinese onion and garlic.
Sichuan Chinese Cuisine: Chili peppers and red peppercorns are used in Sichuan (Szechwan in Cantonese) cooking to stimulate the taste buds and counter the bitter cold of winter. Sichuan dishes are considered spicy, although the heat is not immediate, it can creep up on you. Through pickling and salt-curing, the vegetables and meats of this region are preserved to last through the harsh winter. The combined flavors of vinegar with sweetly fried food originated in this central western region. Well known Sichuan dishes are Szechwan chicken, stir-fried green beans, cold noodles with peanut sauce, Chicken with Spicy Hot Sauce, Chicken Cubes with Peanuts.
Jiangsu Chinese Cuisine: As Jiangsu Province is located within reach of the Yangtze River and the vast sea, this cuisine favors aquatic animals as the meat for its dishes. However, please do not expect a luxurious dish from this cuisine, for its seafood is usually fish-oriented but good to the taste. With stewing, braising and simmering as key methods of cooking, these bring out the natural flavor of the ingredients.
Zhejiang Chinese Cuisine: This is a combination of the Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing Cuisines although the Hangzhou Cuisine is the best-known of the three. It is fresh, tender and perfectly fragrant, but not greasy. Famous dishes are the Stir-Fried Prawn with Green Tea, West Lake Vinegar Fish, and Beggar`s Chicken (roast chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and mud).
Fujian Chinese Cuisine: Fujian cuisine takes full advantage of its geographical location by making use of seafood. It stresses a sweet and soured flavor. The most famous dish of the Fujian Cuisine is the Buddha-Jumping-over-the-Wall which is a simmered mixture of seafood, chicken, duck.
Hunan Chinese Cuisine: Similar to Sichuan Cuisine, these dishes are characterized by saltiness, pungency and sourness. But it boasts of more diverse cooking methods, including the simmering, stewing, steaming and stir-frying. Typical dishes of the Hunan Cuisine are the Dong`an Chicken, Chicken with Chili, Lotus Seeds in Sugar Candy.
Anhui Chinese Cuisine: Crisp, tender and fresh to the taste. Anhui Cuisine pays much attention to its ingredients, dietary cure recipes and a natural taste. It is particular about controlling the temperature for a certain dish. It boasts more than fifty cooking techniques and the distinctive ones are stewing in clear soup and smoking. It is best presented by the courses Roast Chicken and Bamboo Shoots with Chicken Sausage and Mushroom.
In India, Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. It is said to have been developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for over a century. Immensely popular with Indians, it is widespread in major Indian metropolitan cites such as Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai. It is also popular in Goa, where there is a large Chinese and Tibetan population. It is also enjoyed by Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore and North America. Indian Chinese has followed the mainstream Indian expatriate community as they have spread across the world, providing expatriate Indians with a taste of authentic Indian Chinese. Foods tend to be flavored with spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are traditionally not associated with much of Chinese cuisine. Hot chilli, ginger, garlic and yoghurt are also frequently used in dishes. This makes Indian Chinese food similar in taste to many ethnic dishes in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, which have strong Chinese and Indian cultural influences. Non-staple dishes are by default served with generous helpings of gravy, although they can also be ordered `dry` or `without gravy`. Culinary styles often seen in Indian Chinese cuisine include Chilli style (implying hot and batter-fried), Manchurian style (implying a sweet and salty brown sauce), and Szechwan style (Sichuan style usually spelled Schezuan in Indian Chinese cooking, implying a spicy red sauce).
Popular dishes of Chinese cuisine in India are