Introduction China is a vast country with diverse geography, history, and culture. As the fourth-largest country globally, it has about 1.4 billion people speaking different languages and dialects in more than 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities under its control. China's customs, cultures, and cuisine are as varied as the land itself. This diversity is especially evident in the cuisine, with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine types found across the world's most populous nation. There are eight major cuisine types in China: Shandong Cuisine: This cuisine is from the northeast coast of China, where the seafood is the star, presented salty and always fresh. Anhui and Fujian cuisines: These mountainous regions in eastern China each feature cuisine that relies heavily on wild, local ingredients. Sichuan and Hunan cuisines: These two central inland regions are also known worldwide for their cuisine, which in both cases is famously spicy. Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong: Guangdong is the home of Cantonese food, perhaps the best known of all Chinese cuisines internationally. All three regions offer excellent seafood dishes, but overall flavors are lighter and sweeter than in other regions. One of the core principles behind Chinese cooking is balance in all things; this includes balancing sweet, salty, bitter, and sour flavors so that one flavor does not overpower the others. This principle can be used to create countless dishes with unique ingredients but similar styles or techniques.
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