People from Shanxi do not eat roujiamoChinese food is Chinese food, right? The Italians have their pasta, the Germans have their sausages, the Mexicans have tacos, and the Americans have McDonald’s. Except, just as an American from California would never eat a deep-fried Twinkie, Chinese food is not all the same, and not all Chinese people like all Chinese food.

Not Chinese Food
This is not Chinese food.

First of all, in China, nobody uses the ubiquitous “Chinese” take-away boxes, there are no “fortune cookies,” and there’s no such thing as chop suey. There are eight cuisines that represent the characteristic food of eight of China’s 22 provinces. The food of the other 14 provinces (not to mention autonomous regions and municipalities) was not deemed sufficiently distinguished or desirable to be included, so it was probably sent to Panda Express.

  • Guangdong Cuisine (Cantonese Food/Yue Cuisine): sweeter, favoring braising and stewing, adding various sauces.
  • Sichuan Cuisine (Chuan Cuisine): spicy and bold, using lots of chili, garlic, ginger and peanuts.
  • Shandong Cuisine (Lu Cuisine): salty and crispy, favoring braising and seafood.
  • Fujian Cuisine (Min Cuisine): lighter, with a sweet and sour taste, using ingredients from the sea and the mountains.
  • Jiangsu Cuisine (Su Cuisine): fresh, salty and sweet, favoring soups and precise cooking techniques.
  • Hunan Cuisine (Xiang Cuisine): quite spicy, favors sautéing, stir-frying, steaming and smoking.
  • Anhui Cuisine (Hui Cuisine): uses many wild plants and animals as ingredients, favoring stewing and more oil.
  • Zhejiang Cuisine (Zhe Cuisine): mellow, uses freshwater fish, seafood and bamboo shoots, and a wide variety of cooking methods.

This is roujiamo.

Mr. Lee is from Shanxi. People from Shanxi don’t eat roujiamo (Chinese: 肉夹馍; pinyin: ròu jīa mó) in Shanxi. Roujiamo is from Shaanxi. Likewise, don’t offer someone from the south of China a Donkey Burger (Chinese: 驴肉火烧; pinyin: lǘròu huǒshāo). It’s something that northerners eat.

Donkey Burger

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