Depending on which part of the world you are in (or from), the phrase ‘Chinese cuisine’ is sure to conjure up delightful images in your head, of delicious rice and noodles being tossed around inside a flaming wok, or aromatic mist rising out of a freshly-steamed assortment of dim sums in a basket, or a boiling hotpot of vegetables and meat swimming around in spicy broth, simmering over a charcoal fire.
Food is a significant part of Chinese culture and it is believed that good food can bring harmony to family and relationships, both personal and professional. Chinese cuisine has been around for over a thousand years, but its evolution in terms of varied cooking styles, techniques, and ingredients, is what makes it one of the most diverse and most-loved cuisines in the world.
Even today, every Chinese province has its own cooking style, based on local ingredients and regional preferences. Broadly put, the North consumes more wheat and meat, while the South is into subtler flavours, rice and seafood. While there are about ten prominent regional cuisines, three of the most famous ones globally, are the Cantonese (fresh, tender, and healthy), the Szechwan/Szechuan (pungent, spicy, and bold), and the Hunan cuisines (aromatic, colourful, and hot).