Cantonese cuisine

Cantonese cuisine

The most familiar Chinese dishes in China originated from Cantonese cuisine. Guangzhou, the regional capital of Guangdong Province, is the world capital of this style of cooking.
Cantonese cuisine draws upon a great diversity of ingredients as Canton has been a trading port since the days of the Thirteen Factories, bringing it many imported foods and ingredients. Besides pork, beef, and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including organ meats, chicken feet, duck tongue, snakes, ox genitals, and snails. However, lamb and goat is rarely eaten, unlike in cuisines of Northern or Western China. Many cooking methods are used, steaming and stir-frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity, and their ability to bring out the flavor of the freshest ingredients. Other techniques include shallow frying, double boiling, braising, and deep frying.
For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavors of a finished dish should be well balanced, and never greasy. Also, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, and these primary ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. Interestingly, there is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking (and most other regional Chinese cuisines in fact), contrasting with the liberal usage seen in European and other Asian cuisines such as Thai or Vietnamese. Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the latter tends to be mere garnish in most dishes.
Guangzhou boasts a unique culture and traditions which are very different from those of northern China. Cantonese cuisine is diversified and delicate.
Despite the countless Cantonese cooking methods, steaming, stir frying and deep frying are the most popular cooking methods in restaurants due to the short cooking time, and philosophy of bringing out the flavor of the freshest ingredients.

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