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Sichuan cuisine, originating in Southwestern China’s Sichuan province is one of the eight main cuisines of China. Sichuan cuisine is characterized by its multiple flavors.
Sichuan cuisine, originating in Southwestern China’s Sichuan province is one of the eight main cuisines of China. Its long history dates back thousands of years to the ancient Shu Kingdom. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, many chefs came to Chengdu (capital city of Sichuan) to run food businesses, helping Sichuan cuisine to gradually evolve into a major traditional Chinese cuisine.
Sichuan cuisine is characterized by its multiple flavors. A special kind of ingredient called Chinese peppercorn (also known as Chinese prickly) causes a slight numbing effect to the lips and tongue. The basic flavors are spicy, sweet, numbing and sour. Seasonings such as chili oil, peppercorn oil and bean chili paste, can be mixed into numbing and spicy, sour and spicy, sweet and sour, garlic and spicy, mustard and spicy, chili oil, and fish flavors.
The common cooking techniques in Sichuan cuisine include stir-frying, frying, stewing, braising, smoking, pickling, steaming and salting. Different ingredients determine the different ways of cooking. Many dishes are quickly stir-fried so that the tenderness and freshness are maintained. Sichuan cuisine enjoys a high international reputation for its spicy flavor. It has already been selected as one of the main dishes to be served at the Beijing Olympic Games in August of 2008.