Festivals of China

See Public Holidays and Festivals Food and Drink

China’s famous cuisine differs considerably from region to region, although there tends to be a general distinction made between north and south. Within these two main groups there are five nationally and internationally recognised regional variations, namely, Beijing, Shandong, Shanghai-Zhejiang-Jiangsu, Sichuan and Cantonese.

The visitor should bear these variations in mind and, for example, notask for Peking Duck in Canton. Chinese cuisine is so specialised because ofthe availability of local ingredients that the delicacies of one particular region are highly unlikely to be,capable of preparation elsewhere. You will also find it helpful to be aware of the local dishes as a way of learning more about China’s geography and its history.

Preparation The ingredients for all these dishes are almost invariably cut into small pieces and then harmoniously combined in terms of their colour, flavour and aroma. The method of cooking is also important: they can be steamed, fried or boiled but usually only briefly in order to retain the crispness and flavour of the vegetables.

The main utensils used for cooking are the wok, now a familiar object in many Western kitchens, the grill and the charcoal-heated pot.

Meals Most Chinese meals are quite simple. Breakfast in the north is mainly noodles, and in the south boiled rice, supplemented by pickled vegetables and pastry. The other daily meals consist of vegetables, rice, meat or fish, and soup.

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