Cantonese cuisine
2014-March-20 Source:
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Cantonese cuisine, or Guangdong Cai, is one of China’s eight major cuisines, alongside seven other major cooking styles such as Shandong, Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Hunan and Anhui. The Cantonese variety is also one of the cuisines with the longest history. During the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties, the southern city of Guangzhou was China’s only foreign trading port, where tens of thousands of businesses in various industries gathered. Guangzhou gradually became a thriving international commercial hub. Its bustling business area and large streets were lined with teahouses, hotels, restaurants and snack bars. These eateries competed with each other and drew masses of patrons with their eclectic menus. Gradually, Guangzhou became reputed for its food.

For years Cantonese cuisine has doubtlessly been the best known Chinese food in the world. This can be attributed to Guangzhou being one of the most important foreign trading ports in China and its proximity to Hong Kong and Macao. That fact allows the port city to showcase its culture and food until both became well known to foreigners.

Moreover, Guangdong Province is home to the largest number of overseas Chinese. Many of its natives have emigrated to places all over the world, bringing Cantonese cuisine with them. Incomplete statistics show that there are nearly 10,000 restaurants featuring Cantonese cuisine in the United States and more than 1000 in such countries as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Japan. It is no exaggeration that Cantonese cuisine has impressed foreigners as much as “Cantonese” language and people. In the thirty years after China implemented the reform and opening-up policy, China has become far stronger economically and more open culturally. Guangdong is a favorite tourist destination for foreigners. An important part of their travel is to learn local food and culture. Cantonese cuisine has been adored by more and more visitors to Guangdong. Some Cantonese words, such as Dim sum, Tofu and Wonton noodles, have seeped their way into English vocabulary.


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Editor: Olivia
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