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Cuisine & Food in Chengdu

Chengdu is an officially recognized UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Few cities in the world offer so many different dining options as Chengdu, prompting many people to visit the city for the sole purpose of experiencing its unique food culture.

Chengdu (the capital city of Sichuan province) is famous for its Sichuan cuisine. The distinct characteristic of Sichuan cuisine is the use of spicy chilies and peppercorns. Local famous dishes include Mapo Doufu (Pock-marked old woman's tofu), Kung Pao Chicken (spicy peanut & chicken), Chengdu Hot pot, Fish-fragrant eggplant, Water-boiled fish with sizzling chili oil and Dan Dan Mien (meaning "Noodles carried on a pole" Dan Dan Noodles). All six dishes are spicy.

Sichuanese cuisine features careful pairings of boldness and subtlety in dishes, snacks, banquets, and hotpot. A characteristic adage goes: 'one dish, one style; one hundred dishes, one hundred flavors; flexible use of hot chilies and delicate flavors.' Of thousands of dishes, each has a story behind it.

The local snacks in Chengdu are known for creative ingredients, skilled preparation, wide variety, and cheap prices. Tastes range from sweet and spicy to sour and hot in a range of cooking techniques including frying, stewing, baking, steaming and boiling. Common snacks found across town include noodles, wontons, dumplings, pastries, tangyuan (sweet rice balls), drinks, salads and soups. In Chengdu, the Wide & Narrow Alleys and the Jinli Ancient Street are known as the heaven of local snacks.