Most people in English-speaking countries think they have had Chinese food, but if you ask them what kind, they’d say something along the lines of “sweet and sour pork” or “orange chicken.” Unfortunately, the reality is that most people have never actually had real Chinese food, even if they think they have.

If you want to experience real Chinese food, seek out somewhere that has a specific kind of offering available, for example, Hunan, Szechuan or Shandong. This infographic can serve as a useful guide to understanding what these terms mean and whether or not you’d like it. Americanized Chinese food is closest to Cantonese, but if you love kung pao chicken, you might enjoy the more spicy Szechuan style food. If you’re big on dim sum, Beijing cuisine might be more up your alley.

Of course, even if you aren’t sure what to expect, there’s never any harm in trying something new. You never know, you might just discover your new favorite food.


Your Guide to Chinese Food | Daily Infographic

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