Cantonese Cuisine Vs. Chinese Food: What Makes Them Unique?

When someone thinks of Chinese food, the first thing that comes to mind is Cantonese cuisine.

However, there are many other varieties of Chinese food you may not be familiar with besides Cantonese cuisine.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the differences between Chinese food from other regions and Cantonese cuisine so that you can decide which type suits your needs best.

What is special about Chinese food?

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Chinese food is a popular cuisine that many people enjoy.

It has a rich history that dates back to thousands of years ago.

Chinese cuisine varies between different regions, creating a variety of specialties throughout the country, more than just General Tso chicken or lo mein.

Chinese cooking style uses spices like ginger, garlic, and soy sauce which are not often used in Western cuisine.

It is also heavy on vegetables such as chives and cabbage which gives it a distinctive taste unlike any other type of cooking.

These ingredients make it hard to replicate the flavor profile found in authentic Chinese cuisine even if all the recipes were followed correctly.

The way Chinese people serve their food is also what makes their cuisine special.

Unlike Western cuisine where each person has their own portion, the Chinese contain their dishes in a large serving size, such as for the whole family, so that when eating, all the family members will share the food and soup together.

What is special about Cantonese food?

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Cantonese food is a part of Chinese cuisine.

It originated in the Guangdong region, a province of China.

Cantonese cuisine includes Hakka cuisine, Chaochau cuisine, Shunde cuisine, and Guangzhou/ Hongkong cuisine, with each having its own specialty but the same way of cooking.

Cantonese dishes are well-known for their milder taste than other parts of Chinese cuisine, such as Szechuan.

Cantonese chefs focus on the flavor of the main ingredients, therefore, they usually only use mild seasonings with a modest amount so that the flavor won’t be overwhelming.

The resulting dishes are subtle in a balanced way, and typically not greasy.

What are the differences between Chinese vs Cantonese food?

Many of us must have thought that there is no difference between cuisines from different parts of China, including Cantonese.

In fact, Chinese food and Cantonese food have some key distinctions, that can be explored right below:

Cantonese food is cuisine from Guangdong, while Chinese food can be any cuisine from different places in China

When it comes to Chinese food, it can be the cuisine from any part of this country.

You will have a variety of delicious dishes with different flavors to choose from.

On the other hand, Cantonese food is limited within this region, which is Guangdong Province.

That means you will have fewer options for food.

Cantonese food has a milder taste, while dishes from other Chinese regions are more flavorful and spicier

Cantonese food is reputable for its mild taste.

If you are not a fan of spicy food, then Cantonese dishes will definitely satisfy you.

Their recipes don’t call for many heating agents like garlic, ginger, or chili pepper.

Even if they do, there is just a small amount of these spices so that they won’t burn your tongue.

Whereas, other parts of China, for example, Szechuan with the humid and cold climate, is famous for spicy and intense foods.

Cantonese cuisine contains more seafood and vegetables

Another difference between Chinese food and Cantonese cuisine is that the latter uses more seafood and vegetables.

You can still find plenty of seafood and vegetable dishes in other regions, it is just Cantonese people prefer these ingredients over meat.

What are the similarities between Chinese vs Cantonese food?

With the same country origin, Cantonese food and Chinese are sure to have some things in common, such as below:

Cantonese food is one of the main cuisines of Chinese food

It is obvious that Guangdong is a province of Chinese, and Guangdong’s cuisine, or known as Cantonese cuisine is a part of Chinese food.

This is the most visible similarity you can find between Chinese food and Cantonese food.

Rice and soy sauce are staples in both cuisines

Chinese people in general, and Cantonese people in particular, both use these two traditional ingredients in their daily cooking: rice and soy sauce.

They can eat rice every day, in every meal, and usually serve it with other savory dishes.

Rice can be steamed, rice flour is used to make noodles and buns.

Meanwhile, soy sauce can be added to all stir-fried dishes to add flavor and color.

Which one is better?

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So choosing between Cantonese food or other regional Chinese food actually depends on your needs.

If you are looking for a healthy and light dish that won’t burn your tongue or make you sweat while eating, Cantonese food may be the best choice for you.

But if you want something more challenging with a kick of spiciness, Chinese cuisine from other parts will be more suitable.

Good luck with your choice and hope you will enjoy your dish no matter where it comes from.

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