Chinese food is a broad terminology that encompasses the various cuisines that originated in the different parts of China as well as Chinese colonies around the world. The Chinese take their food rather seriously. The famous archaeologist and scholar K.C. Chang said “Chinese people are especially preoccupied with food” and “food is at the center of, or at least it accompanies or symbolizes, many social interactions.”
Chinese cuisine has gone through a lot changes in the course of time through various periods of history, depending on the change of climate, royal dynasties and change in taste of the locals.
The Chinese civilization is ancient (it is one of the river valley civilizations of the ancient world). The oldest noodles that have been discovered are around 4000 years old.
Besides noodles, rice, soybean, wheat, vegetables, meat and seafood are the staples in Chinese cuisine. Rice wine, dried black mushroom, garlic, gingerroot, spring onions, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and chili are commonly used for flavoring in Chinese cuisine.
Regionally, Chinese cuisine can be classified into Cantonese, Szechuan, Huizhou, Shandong, Beijing, Fujian, Huaiyang, Hunan and Zhejiang. The following Infographic gives a basic idea about the taste of some of the important regional Chinese cuisines.