Unit 8 Chinese cuisines

What is your favourite food…? Do you have a preferable cuisine?

Read the following article, how many Chinese cuisines does the article mention? (after reading the article for the first time, try click on the vocabulary to see its definition)

China’s long history, vast territory and extensive contact with other nations and cultures have given birth to the distinctive Chinese culinary art. With several thousand years of creative and accumulative efforts, the Chinese cuisines have become increasingly popular among more and more overseas gourmets, virtually functioning as an envoy of friendship in China’s cultural exchanges with foreign countries.

Modern China enjoys a world wide reputations as the ‘kingdom of cuisine’. The exquisite Chinese culinary art, regarded indisputably as one if the world’s finest culinary traditions, has prevailed all over the world. The nearly endless variety of natural ingredients and cooking methods employed in Chinese cuisine stand out unequaled in the world, which may very well account for the universal popularity of Chinese restaurants and Chinese cuisine overseas.

Zhejiang Cuisine: Zhejiang cuisine includes the specialties of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province, which is known as ‘land abundant in fish and rice’, Zhejiang cuisine, not greasy, wins its reputation for freshness, tenderness, softness, and smoothness of its dishes with mellow fragrance. Hangzhou cuisine is the most famous one among the three.

Each of the three sub-cuisine traditions is noted for its special flavor and taste, but they are all characterized by the careful selection of ingredients, emphasizing minute preparation, as well as unique, fresh and tender tastes. Zhejiang cuisine specializes in quick frying, stir-frying, deep-frying, simmering and steaming, by which the dishes obtaining the natural flavor and taste. Special care is taken in the cooking process to make the food fresh, crispy and tender. Thanks to exquisite preparation, the dishes are not only delicious in taste and but also extremely elegant in appearance.

Sichuan Cuisine: The cuisine features a wide range of materials, various seasonings and different cooking techniques. Statistics show that the number of Sichuan dishes has surpassed 5,000. With a rich variety of strong flavors, Sichuan food is famous for its countless delicacies, dominated by peppery, chili flavours, and best known for being spicy-hot. If you find the Sichuan dishes too bland, then you are probably not eating authentic Sichuan cuisine. Chili peppers and prickly ash are used in many dishes, giving it a distinctively spicy taste, called Ma in Chinese. It often leaves a slight numb sensation in the mouth. However, most peppers were brought to China from the Americas in the 18th century so thanks to the global trade for much of Sichuan cuisine’s excellence.

Canton Cuisine: It is the hardest to categorize, emphasizes light cooking with seemingly limitless range of ingredients. Cantonese cuisine took shape in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the process of its development, it has borrowed the culinary essence of northern China and of the Western-style food, while maintaining its traditional local flavor.
The most characteristic cooking methods are cooking in salt or wine, baking in a pan, and soft frying. Guangdong cuisine emphasizes unique mixed flavorings. For example, one flavoring liquid is a mixture prepared from onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and spices. The gravy is prepared from a mixture of peanut oil, ginger, onion, Shaoxing rice wine, crystallized sugar, anise, cassia bark, licorice root, clove, ginger powder, dried tangerine peel, and Momordica grosuvenori. Spiced salt is prepared from refined salt, sugar, powdered spices, and anise. These flavorings, along with other favorite condiments such as oyster sauce, fish sauce, clam oil, and curry, give Guangdong cuisine a unique taste.
For many people of Guangdong, everything that walks, crawls, flies, or swims is edible. Although many strange foods no longer appeal to today’s refined tastes, and some have been eliminated out of respect for the eating habits of people in other areas, some strange foods remain on the menu.

Language focus 

Gourmet: (of food) Very high quality & producing or serving food that is very high quality

Prevail: To get control or influence (Example:1. I am sure that common sense will prevail in the end.  2. And did reason prevail over (= become a more powerful influencethan) emotion?) & to be common among a group of people or area at a particulartime (Example: This attitude still prevails among the middle classes.)

Stand out: To be very noticeable (Example: The black lettering really stands out on that orange background.)& To be much better than other similar things or people (Example: We had lots of good applicants for the job, but one stood out fromthe rest.)

Take shape: To start to develop a more clear or certain form (Example: We watched the vase begin to take shape in the potter’s hands.Our ideas are beginning to take shape.)

Edible: Suitable or safe for eating

Eliminate: To remove or take away someone or something & To defeat someone so that they cannot continue in a competition


Tasks: After reading the article, write a short report (200 words) to introduce your favourite cuisine, you may use the vocabulary and phrase that appear in the article.

Every Tuesday 7pm there will be an additional session for FAQs on Second Life, teacher name: snowballcookies.