It comprises the specialties of Southern Anhui, Wanjiang, Hefei, Huainan and Northern Anhui. The highly distinctive characteristic of Anhui cuisine (Hui Cuisine) lies not only in the elaborate choices of cooking materials but also in the strict control of cooking process.
Anhui cuisine is also called Anhui favor. It originates from ancient Huizhou in the Southern Song Dynasty. At first, Anhui favor comes from mountainous area in ancient Huizhou. With the rise of Anhui businessmen, Anhui cuisine gradually spread to Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province, and Jiangxi province and so on.
Most ingredients in Anhui cuisine, such as pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, dates, come from mountain area. Huangshan Mountain has abundant raw materials for cooking. The white and tender bamboo shoots grew on Huangshan Mountain can be made into very delicious food. And Xianggu, a kind of top-grade mushroom grows on old trees, is also very tasty.
An emphasis on preserving the natural and original flavor of the food is the hallmark of Anhui cuisine. Anhui cuisine chefs pay more attention to the taste, color of dishes and the temperature to cook, and they are good at braising and stewing, and steaming. Besides, they are good at using ingredients from mountains to cook delicacies. Anhui dishes preserve most of the original taste and nutrition of the materials. Generally, the food is slightly spicy and salty. Some typical dishes stewed in brown sauce with stress on heavy oil and sauce. Chinese bacon is often added to improve the taste and sugar candy is added to gain freshness.
Notable Anhui Dishes: Stinky Mandarin Fish, Fried Hairy Tofu, Steamed Partridge, Stewed Bamboo Shoots of Wenzheng Mountain, Huangshan Stewed Pigeon, Li Hongzhang Chop Suey, Stewed Soft-Shelled Turtle with Ham, Braised Masked Palm Civet