Gourmet Guide

Chinese cuisine goes back to ancient times and achieves its present level of excellence through the accumulation of thousands of years of practical knowledge and experience in cookery. Emphasis is placed on the perfect combination of color, aroma, flavor, and appearance, through which the most common ingredients are transformed into culinary tours de force. In Taiwan, cooking techniques from all areas of China have fused; the Taiwanese have not only mastered the traditional local Chinese specialties, but have also used traditional techniques to develop new culinary treats. These features attract many tourists to Taiwan every year to savor these Chinese specialties, ranging from small steamed buns to boiled dumplings.

Traditional Chinese food to be found all over Taiwan, next to Taiwanese and Hakka-style dishes, mainly including dishes from Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangzhe, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, and Beijing.

 

Following are descriptions of the characteristics and different cooking styles of dishes from different regions:

Taiwan:

Natural original flavors are preserved and the main focus is on light-seasoned, fresh, and simply flavored dishes. Thanks to Dutch and Japanese influences, raw and slightly water-scalded food is widely accepted.

Fujian:

Dominated by seafood, preferably steamed, mainly light-seasoned, with sweet and sour flavorings.

Guangdong:

Great variety of ingredients, focus on light-seasoned, fresh, smooth, sweet, tasty, and tender dishes. The main methods of food preparation consist of frying, baking, stir-frying, steaming, and boiling.

Jiangzhe:

Focus on original flavors, with methods of preparation consisting mainly of stewing, braising, steaming, and stir-frying, for all of which temperature control is the most important aspect. Flavors are light but do not lack taste, and bones are removed while keeping shapes intact.

Shanghai:

Dishes breathing international fame originate here. Local flavors are adhered to and dishes are mostly oily, drowning in sauce and brightly colored.

Hunan:

Sour, hot, and rich flavors are the secrets behind the popular dishes from this area, with a well-known specialty being smoked bacon. Dishes from Hunan and Sichuan show some similarities, with many dishes being spicy because of the use of large amounts of red pepper.

Sichuan:

Famous for its spicy-flavored dishes as dried and fresh red pepper is used during preparation; fish and other seafood is favored. Sichuan cuisine is extremely popular among those who favor strongly-flavored food.

Beijing:

A combination of flavors from all corners, magnificently and delicately prepared; dishes combine color, shape, flavor, and nutrition, and are mostly light and tender.

Hakka:

Dried and preserved materials form important ingredients in the Hakka kitchen; dishes are mostly strongly flavored (burnt, flavored, well-done, salty, fat).

 

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