Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chinese cuisine----Cantonese cuisine

Cantonese cuisine (Guangdong cuisine or Yue Cai), has a great prestige among the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. Of all the regional varieties of Chinese cuisine, it’s also the best known outside China, due to its palatability to Westerners and the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong Province. Most "Chinese restaurants" in Western countries serve authentic Cantonese cuisine and dishes based on it.

Coming from Guangdong Province in Southern China, Cantonese cuisine is reputed as China's finest cuisine. Featuring diverse and delicate in material, its material includes almost all edible food in addition to the staples of pork, beef and chicken - snakes, snails, insects, worms, chicken feet, duck tongues, ox genitals, and entrails, etc. There is a famous saying, "Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible".

The seasonings in Cantonese cuisine are varied and well coordinated. Sauces made from ingredients like ginger, garlic, onion, vinegar, and sugar are complemented to enhance flavors. Somewhat lighter than most regional Chinese cuisine, the Cantonese dishes are prepared carefully and exquisitely. With the basic cooking techniques such as roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming, they turn out to be fresh, crisp, tender, slippery and not salty with all flavors and tastes.

The basic cooking techniques include. Steaming and stir-frying are most frequently used to preserve the ingredients' natural flavors. Guangdong chefs also pay much attention to the artistic presentation of their dishes.

An emphasis on preserving the natural flavor of the food is the hallmark of Cantonese cuisine. As cooking time is short, the flavors and nutrition of the food are preserved. Fresh live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine. Many authentic restaurants maintain live seafood tanks. The Cantonese people are very finicky when it comes to the freshness of their food. Even the amount of time taken for a live, swimming fish to be placed on a plate is kept to a minimum.

Cantonese barbecuing methods are unsurpassed. Another unique Cantonese specialty is slow-cooked soup. Sometimes, Chinese herbal medicines are added to the pot. Dim sum is, without a doubt, a trademark food in Cantonese cuisine. It is usually consumed in the mornings and afternoons. The Cantonese are also very inventive, and happy to incorporate non-native ingredients in their cooking.

It’s a pity that traveling to China without enjoying this wonderful Cantonese cuisine. So explore and try the long Cantonese menu!!

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