Chinese food is enjoyed by people all over the world and is a favourite take away in the West. Chinese cuisine first became popular with the arrival of Chinese workers in the United States during the Gold Rush years. Besides being quite delicious, Chinese food is both healthy and economic. The colourful vegetables and cooking sauces also make Chinese cuisine very beautiful to look at.
There are eight regional cuisines of China; Shandong, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan, Fujian, Jiangsu, Szechuan, and Cantonese, but broadly speaking, they are separated in the North, South, East and West of the country.
Hot and spicy dishes, often with a crunchy texture come from the Szechuan region of China. Cantonese cuisine is light, crisp and fresh. Fish and crustaceans are the main ingredients in Jiangsu cuisine. Soups and stews are very popular in Fujian cuisine. In general, Hunan cuisine utilises smoked and cured food in its dishes. Anhui chefs concentrate more on the temperature that food is is cooked at and are particularly good at making stews. Shandong cuisine is characterised by its tenderness, aroma, freshness and crispness. Zhejiang cuisine is famous for its mellow and non-greasy taste.
The phenomena of Chinese home cooking is a growing one. Many people enjoy making traditional Chinese food, not least of all because it is a food for sharing and is perfect for family and social gatherings.