Characteristics Of Chinese Cuisine And Cookery

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5.2.2 Chinese Cuisine and Cookery
As is analyzed in the section 4.3.1 that Chinese restaurants are mainly characterized by distinct regional cuisines that they focus on, it can be also interpreted from another angle that Chinese cuisine covers a wide spectrum of regional features. Together with different geological and climatic characteristics in different regions, different eating habits of local culture have determined the distinction of Chinese cuisines (Liu 56), and generally speaking, the taste of northern cuisine is mainly salty, eastern cuisine is sweet, and a great part of southern and western cuisine is spicy. Consequently, in China, every region or city has its own unique cuisines. To be more specific, in speaking of northern cuisine, Beijing can be a good representative city with a history of thousands of years being the capital in both ancient and contemporary China, and cuisine in Beijing has inherited the tradition of exquisite and time-consuming preparations because dishes in the ancient time were created to gratify
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As I have learnt from Chinese history before, the legendary feast (called Manchu-Han Full Banquet in English) that were created in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) for the emperor (Liu 58) is quintessential in the food culture of Beijing. However, seldom Chinese people have had this feast in their entire lifetime, because the feast originally contains 108 dishes, combining cuisines of Manchurian and Han styles. However, today, the most representative cuisine of Beijing is probably the Beijing duck which must be carefully and skillfully prepared for hours in order to provide consumers the experience of enjoying three consecutive dishes made of one duck, including “the crisp skin, with a hoisin-based sauce”, “the duck meat stir-fried with vegetables”, and “a soup made with the duck’s bones” (qtd. in Lo 301). In the western China, Xi’an is outstanding for its cuisine specializing
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