2021-07-17 16:00


YUM I Specialty Food in China

As is known by many foreigners, China is famous for all kinds of food including local specialties. Snacks() in China is a general term for a type of food with a style of taste in a specific region. 

There are a variety of flavor snacks all over the world, depending on local customs and different, distinctive, unique flavor. Modern people would have snacks for not only filling up between meals, but also learning more about local customs, local culture, and even the social life of the specific place.

What is Snack?

"Modern Chinese Dictionary" gives three definitions for snacks, and here it actually refers to "the food sold in the catering industry such as niangao(), zongzi(), hot and sour powder(), etc." 

The types of snacks can be described as diverse, covering food, fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and milk, all kinds of sour, sweet and spicy. In some ways, it is far beyond the definition of "snacks" in the dictionary.

In the Song Dynasty, the word "sweet food()" appeared in Wu's , referring to desserts. In the Yuan Dynasty, the word "congshi()" appeared in  "Complete Works of Household Necessary Service", which refers to cakes and snacks. 

By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, cooking techniques had developed greatly. More delicate  food started to appear. In the Qing Dynasty, written by Gu Zhong said, there are 16 types of bait, 24 types of fruit, 24 types of porridge and 2 types of powder.

After a few years of development, specialty snacks become an indispensable part of Chinese food culture with strong and special characteristics of local culture. 

Featured snacks are sourced locally, and they usually highlight the physical and social life of the specific place. As a result, we can say that specialty food is already a kind of culture in various places.

It has become a symbol of culture in China instead of basic living about filling up between meals.

scroll down to see more

This is a map mentioned by in Chinese, which shows the most famous specialties/Snacks in each province, and I will briefly introduce them below.

South China

1. Hai nan: Most famous for tropical fruit, such as coconut, mango, mangosteen, durian

Specialty recommendation: braise chicken in coconut

2. Guang Xi: rice noodles (particularly ), passion fruit

3. Guang Dong: Iced Pineapple of fruit tea, tea, desserts

East China

1. Shan Dong: scallion, Shan Dong Pancake, braised chicken with rice

braised chicken with rice

2. An Hui: shrimp noddle , hodgepodge , soy braised mandarin fish , Doufu  Mizutaki


3. Zhe Jiang: West lake Fish , Chicken , Fried shrimps with Longjing tea ,Dongpo Pork ,West lake water shield soup

Dongpo Pork

4. Jiang Su: 

1) Su Zhou: (crab)

2) Wu Xi:

3) Xu Zhou:

4) Yang Zhou:

        5) Chang Zhou:

6) Nan Jing:

7) Tai Zhou:

8) Nan Tong: Seafood

PS: Born in Jiangsu, I'm particularly introducing specialty food here in a more detailed way and, for many of them, in Chinese version. In some ways, these are traditional Chinese food, and I cannot find any appropriate translation or explanation for their name. However, I've chosen some pictures of the food carefully so that anyone not familiar with Chinese can refer to the pictures.

5. Fu jian: (sea food and poultry)

6. Shanghai: scallion pancake ribs with rice cakes

scallion pancake

ribs with rice cakes

Central China

1. Hu Bei: spicy duck neck, hot-and-dry noodles, lobster

hot-and-dry noodles

2. Hu Nan: spicy salted duck ,  stinky tofu

 stinky tofu

3.He Nan: shaomai ,

South-west China

1.Chong Qing: Hotpot, sour& spicy rice noodles, spicy noddles

2. Si Chuan: Sliced Beef and Ox Tongue , boiled duck-blood curd and tripe in chile broth

boiled duck-blood curd and tripe in chile broth

3. Yun Nan: yak meat, fried rice in pineapple , rice noodle

rice noodle

4. Tibet: barely wine , butter tea , glutinous rice cake

butter tea

North-east China

1.Qing Hai:

2. Xin Jiang: roast lamb ,nut cake ,raisin ,dried fig

3. Shan Xi: Mutton and Bread Pieces in Sou , Chinese-Style burger , cold noodle , crusty pancake

North-east China

1. Liao Ning: dumplings

2. Ji Lin: stewed chicken with mushroom

3. Hei Long Jiang: Fried Pork in Scoop

4. Beijing: roast duck

This article just mentioned only a small part of Chinese specialty. In the future, more of them are to be explored by everyone.



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