Any presentation of the dishes served in the private homes and public restaurants of Chengdu would be remiss if it did not point out that the dishes served in Chengdu, both in private homes and in restaurants, belong to the Sichuan Cuisine tradition, one of the Eight Major Cuisine Schools of China.
In the following, a brief description of the defining features of Sichuan Cuisine, also known as Chuan Cuisine, will be presented, followed by a list of the most popular/ most famous Sichuan dishes. Finally, a short, very inexhaustive (you are herewith encouraged to find your own favorite Chengdu eatery) list of restaurants in Chengdu is presented.
Chuan Cuisine is the most popular cuisine in all of China, defined in terms of the breadth and depth of where it is served. Of course it helps the depth parameter that the neighboring population-dense municipality of Chongqing, formerly a part of Sichuan Province, is one of the areas outside present-day Sichuan Province most enamored of Chuan Cuisine. See must-taste Chinese foods.
The dishes of Chuan Cuisine are famous for their spicy-hot flavors, a spicy-hotness that Sichuaners call "dry hot", insisting that it differs from the "wet hot" spiciness of other cuisines. The difference, say, Sichuaners, is that the spices used to achieve "dry hot" spiciness consists of a mixture of dry ingredients such as crushed peppercorns (black, red and white) and dried, crushed chili, as well as Sichuan Province's own native pepper, huajiao ("flower pepper" from the prickly ash tree, Zanthoxylum bungeanum) that is of course first dried, then crushed. According to Sichuan-Cuisine chefs, gourmets and gourmands (which covers just about everyone cooking and eating Sichuan Cuisine ), the salient features of "dry hot" spiciness consist of an instantaneous numbing effect on the tongue, and a pleasing, lingering, spicy-hot aftertaste. Continue to read more on Sichuan cuisine