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Eating in China

Chinese cuisine originated from the various regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world — from East Asia to North America, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa.

Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to the different styles of food.

There are eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions: Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. Among them, Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, and Huaiyang cuisine (a major style and even viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine) are often considered as the standouts of Chinese cuisine and due to their influence are proclaimed as the Four Great Traditions. Occasionally Beijing cuisine and Shanghai cuisine are also cited along with the aforementioned eight regional styles as the Ten Great Traditions. There are also featured Buddhist and Muslim sub-cuisines within the greater Chinese cuisine, with an emphasis on vegetarian and halal-based diets respectively.