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HISTORY OF SZECHUAN CUISINE

A Glance through Szechuan Culinary

Traditionally, Chinese food is divided into the eight great culinary categories traditions. These different cuisines are identified by their unique ingredients and ways of preparations. Historically, the styles developed based on local, sustainable ingredients. Originating in southwestern China, the Szechuan culinary tradition emphasizes bold, strong flavors. The prevailing Sichuan food consists of popular dishes eaten by common people and characterized by pungent, hot, strange, and salty flavors. Although Sichuan cuisine has only a short history, it has affected and even replaced more sumptuous dishes.  The food is typically spicy and exciting due to the prevalence of chili and garlic. The most noticeable flavor, however, is the Sichuan pepper. Unlike red or black peppers, the Sichuan is not powerful and hot. The flavor is reminiscent of a citrus fruit like a lemon, and it is mostly utilized for the tingling, numb feeling it creates in the mouth. This readies the palate for the stronger garlic and chili peppers.  Typical, modern Sichuan dishes like twice – cooked pork with chili sauce, shredded pork with chili sauce and fish flavor, Crucian carp with thick broad – bean sauce, and boiled mat slices are common dishes eaten by every family.