| Traditionally there are eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions: Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang. Sometimes four of the Eight Great Traditions are given greater emphasis, and are considered to dominate the culinary heritage of China. They are notably defined along geographical lines: Sichuan (Western China), Cantonese (Southern China),Shandong (Northern China), as well as Huaiyang Cuisine (Eastern China), a major style derived from Jiangsu cuisine and even viewed as the representation of that region's cooking
In modern times, Beijing cuisine and Shanghai cuisine on occasion are also cited along with the classical eight regional styles as the Ten Great Traditions. There are also featured Buddhist and Muslim sub-cuisines within the greater Chinese cuisine, with an emphasis on vegetarian and halal-based diets respectively.
In most dishes in Chinese cuisine, food is prepared in bite-sized pieces, ready for direct picking up and eating. In traditional Chinese cultures, chopsticks are used at the table.
|Vegetarianism is not uncommon or unusual in China; though, as is the case in the West, it is only practiced by a relatively small fraction of the population. Most Chinese vegetarians are Buddhists, following the Buddhist teachings about minimizing suffering. Chinese vegetarian dishes often contain large varieties of vegetables, and some imitation meat. Such imitation meat is created mostly with soy protein and/or wheat gluten to imitate the texture, taste, and appearance of duck, chicken, or pork. Imitation seafood items, made from other vegetable substances such as konjac, are also available.|
|All Rights Reserved|