Chengdu Cuisine

Authors: Go Chengdu


The cuisine and related culture are important part of the leisurely life of Chengdu and have become a name card of the city.
Bestowed with rich soil, diversified produces and developed agriculture in the land of Chengdu and the neighboring areas, the city has long been reputed for its econmic prosperity and gastronomic culture since ancient times, as recorded in classic works such as the Chronicle of Huayang State and the Eulogy of Sichuan Capital dating back to some 2000 years ago.
An archaeological discovery in the year of 2000, at a site in downtown Chengdu, revealed a large number of cups, bowls, plates, boxes and kettles of about 3,000 years ago. These unearthed tableware represent high-standard craft and artistry, indicating that the cuisine of Chengdu at that time had reached a considerable level.
Chengdu is the center of the famous Sichuan cuisine, which is globally recognized for its diversified and subtle tastes and wide choice of ingredients and is gaining greater popularity in the world. Chengdu was named by the UNESCO as the City of Gastronomy, the first of its kind in Asia. The city is growing to be one of the gastronomic cultural centers in the world, along with the increase of the city's openness and international cooperation and exchange.
The city has a highly developed catering industry with more than 60 thousand restaurants of cuisines from China and overseas. Apart from the Sichuan cuisine, there are Cantonese, Shandong, Huaiyang and Hunan cuisines and those from Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as from foreign countries such as the US, Italy, Germany, France, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Brazil, India and Mexico, which provides local residents and visitors more options for gourmet experiences. The city also boasts a dozen of famous food streets and more than 30 Time-honored Restaurants in China. International celebrities, including the US first lady Michelle Obama, former British PM David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, included tasting Sichuan food as part of their agenda during the visit to the city.
The local cuisine culture is closely related to many distinguished figures in history who loved food and were highly creative in cuisine culture. There are lots of intresting stories about famous Sichuan dishes and eateries, such as the Tai-bai Duck, Dong-po Pork, and the restaurants concerning Sima Xiangru, Li Jieren and Zhang Daqian, etc.
The development of local cuisine has significantly profited from the openness of local culture, the introduction of other cuisines, as well as the promotion of chefs, service people, management, researchers and critics dedicated to developing the long and glorious cuisine tradition of the city.

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