A recent report released by Meituan, one of China’s popular food ordering apps, shows Guangzhou’s growing love for spicy food.
Hunan cuisine is spicy and aromatic. Big data shows Cantonese people, known for their preference for light and delicately flavoured food, are increasingly turning up the spice. [File photo]
In 2018, Guangzhou saw 11 million orders for Hunan cuisine, which is nearly double the number recorded in Changsha (5.7 million), the capital of Hunan and home of the cuisine. Guangzhou saw 840 thousand orders coming in with the note “add more chili”, ranking second nationwide.
According to the report, the top 5 favourite takeaway categories in Guangzhou were fast food, ‘western’ fast food, rice noodles, Sichuan and Hunan cuisine, ‘malatang’ (a common type of Chinese street food that is like a soupy hot pot). Looking at the least popular foods ordered, Beijing and Yunnan Hotpots did not enjoy the same popularity as their Sichuan cousin, and on the international side Russian and Spanish cuisine saw the least amount of orders in 2018. While these categories admittedly vary wildly from the extremely specific to generic offerings like ‘fast food’, the current spicy food craze is clear.
‘Yum cha’ (meaning a dim sum lunch) is an integral part of Cantonese culture. However, this does not translate well to this culture of food delivery, with the report showing changfen (steamed rice roll, a famous dim sum dish) ranking only 16th, lower than pizza, barbecue and fried chicken. A local interviewee said he prefers eating changfen in a restaurant with family and friends instead of ordering takeaway. “The atmosphere is very important,” he said.
Reported by Jasmine Yin
Edited by Olivia Ouyang, Simon Haywood