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A journey through Jiangsu is not only a chance to experience beautiful river town scenery and some of the most brilliant achievements in Chinese culture, but also a great chance to try one of the major components of Chinese cuisine - Jiangsu Cuisine. Jiangsu Cuisine, also called Huaiyang Cuisine, consists of the styles of Yangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Zhenjiang dishes. Known as "a land of fish and rice" in China, Jiangsu Province has a rich variety of ingredients available for cooking. Using fish and crustaceans as the main ingredients, it stresses freshness and aliveness freshness. Its high carving techniques are delicate, of which the melon carving technique is especially well known. Due to using the methods of stewing, braising, quick-frying, warming-up, stir-frying, wine sauce pickling and adding some sugar as condiments, Jiangsu dishes taste fresh, light and mellow. In Huaiyang cuisine, ingredients are strictly chosen and carefully prepared to maintain the original flavor. Huaiyang cuisine also pays special attention to the seasonally of each ingredient so that each ingredient is in its prime state for eating. For example, Yangzhou Cuisine is light and elegant; Suzhou Cuisine is slightly sweet; and Wuxi Cuisine is fairly sweet. Light and tasty soups are also a key part of Huaiyang cuisine and perfectly in tune with the latest health food trends.

In 1949, Huaiyang cuisine was the selected cuisine for the first state banquet of the new People's Republic and, in 1999, Huaiyang cuisine was also featured on the menu of the People's Republic's 50th anniversary state dinner. In 2002, Huaiyang cuisine was also selected for the dinner hosted by President Jiang Zemin for visiting US President George W. Bush.

Jiangsu dishes can be classified into that of Suzhou-Wuxi style and Zhenjiang-Yangzhou style. The feature of Suzhou-style dishes is their natural flavor in original stock and a mixture of salty and sweet taste. The characteristics of Zhenjiang-Yangzhou style food are best described by the saying that "the soup is so clear that you can see the bottom of the bowl and the sauce is so thick that it turns creamy white".

Typical courses of Jiangsu cuisine are Jinling salted dried duck (Nanjing's most famous dish), Squirrel with Mandarin Fish, Yangzhou Style Fried Rice, "Lion-Head" Meatball with Crab Roe, Wuxi Sweet and Salty Spare Ribs. Crystal meat (pork heals in a bright, brown sauce), clear crab shell meatballs (pork meatballs in crab shell powder, fatty, yet fresh), Yangzhou steamed Jerky strips (dried tofu, chicken, ham and pea leaves), triple combo duck, dried duck, and Farewell My Concubine (soft-shelled turtle stewed with many other ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms and wine), etc.
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