South China's food touches the heart
Updated: 2016-01-22 08:40
(China Daily Europe)
(Top) A shop sells Cantonese-style barbecue meats in Guangzhou. (Above) A chef adds a sprinkling of spring onion before serving a bowl of noodles. [Photos provided to China Daily]
"For the people, food is heaven," said Sima Qian, a historian in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). Today, these words still ring true. The Chinese respect and passion for food is firmly entrenched in the cultural landscape, with a culinary scenery that reflects the vast geographical footprint of the world's most populous country. Pauline D. Loh offers a view from the table.
The Cantonese from southern China, pioneers of the diaspora, were the first to take the flavors of home abroad. In every Chinatown in almost every Western city, the introduction to Chinese food has often been dim sum, or dianxin, food that touches the heart, served piping hot in little bamboo steamers.
These delicate snacks and pastries are not the only dishes from the south. Guangdong province lies across the Pearl River Delta, a land of milk and honey brimming with mountain pleasures and marine treasures.