Chinese Sichuan food (Sichuan Cuisine )is very popular throughout the world. Speaking of Sichuan food, what comes into your mind? Sichuan food is famous for its hot, spicy and sometimes sweet flavor. However, Chinese Sichuan food was not born to be like this.
Sichuan cuisine (Szechuan cuisine or Szechwan cuisine) is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan Province, China. It has bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of Sichuan pepper.
Back into the Three Kingdoms, Sichuan area belonged to the Kingdom of Shu (simplified Chinese 蜀国) and was located in the southwest part of China. Sichuan people at that time liked to eat sweet food. Until Jin Dynasty, people added ginger, onions, chives and mustard into dishes and the dishes at that time were pungent. So at the very beginning, there is no hot flavor in Chinese Sichuan cuisine. Nowadays, you can still find some dishes that carry the traditional flavor of Chinese Sichuan food such as boiled pork with mashed garlic(simplified Chinese: 蒜泥白肉). Around 200 or 300 years ago, hot peppers were introduced into China. And Sichuan people at that time began to use hot peppers in their daily cooking. It is said that hot peppers were popular among the folk. Along with the development of Sichuan cuisine, the unique flavors of spiciness and numbness become predominant in many Sichuan dishes.
Moreover, the complex topography of Sichuan Province, including its mountains, hills, plains, plateaus and the Sichuan Basin, has shaped its food customs with versatile and distinct ingredients. The weather might be another reason of the popularity of hot peppers in Sichuan food. In fact, hot peppers and Sichuan peppercorns (Sichuan pepper in short) are considered as the souls of Sichuan cuisine. There are lots of mountains in Sichuan province, China. And the unique terrain causes high water content in air. People in this area need to eat hot peppers and peppercorns for dehumidify. During the period when hot peppers were not introduced, ginger and other spices played the similar role.
At present, the most unique and important spice in Sichuan cuisine is the Sichuan pepper (simplified Chinese: 花椒). Sichuan peppercorn has an intense fragrant, citrus-like flavour and produces a “tingly-numbing” (simplified Chinese: 麻) sensation in the mouth. Garlic, chili peppers, ginger and star anise are some other commonly used spices in Sichuan cuisine.
Sichuan cuisine is the origin of several prominent flavors widely used in modern Chinese cuisine, including Yuxiang (simplified Chinese: 魚香), Mala (simplified Chinese: 麻辣) and Guaiwei (simplified Chinese: 怪味). Each dish of Sichuan cuisine has its own unique taste and flavor. Most of the Chinese cooking methods are used in Sichuan cuisine. And another feature that makes Sichuan cuisine distinctive is the seasonings used. From baoning vinegar, Dou-chi (fermented soy beans) to famous Pixian Doubanjiang and Chongqing chili sauce, all the different types of seasonings are used in Sichuan cuisine, which contributes to the long lasting vitality of Chinese Sichuan food.
If you want to have a taste of Chinese Sichuan food, you can visit Grand Szechuan Restaurant today. It is one of the best Chinese Sichuan food restaurants in Twin Cities. You will surely love it!