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Hong Kong vs. Cantonese Cuisines - Help a Regionally Challenged Brother Out


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I figure if I'm not exactly clear on this, then it's a good bet others aren't either, so rather than just Googling or asking a friend, I thought I'd make this a public discussion.

Can anyone provide a primer (either linking to one, or writing one) that can point out the basic similarities and differences between these two regional cuisines?

I kind-of, sort-of get it when I see it, but not really, and I want to dig deeper and learn more.

Thanks in advance if anyone can help,


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Primer: you won't really get Hong Kong cooking here in the DC-area. I think the only thing around here that is really Hong Kong cooking is dim sum or breakfast at Maria's Rockville that you find like in HK, while the rest gets lumped into Cantonese cuisine. (See also 40 HK foods -- this is what you'll find in HK Chinese food that you don't always see here.)

Brief history: Canton used to be a major trading hub but fell victim to war times, so many of the fine chefs hitched a ride to Hong Kong. In the beginning, most of HK cuisine was Cantonese style. But over the years, HK became a hub of infused cooking (See Tai Ping Koon history as a sample), influenced by Shanghai, Canton, Taiwan, other parts of China and Western style cooking because many investors and entrepreneurs settled there, developing a need for restaurants and different tastes.

It is really hard to describe and does end up being a "you know it when you see it." I mean, HK has a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant!

*Official(?) Primer: Cnngo.com

**A little OT, but I really like this article: 31 dishes: A Guide to China's Regional Specialities (It does captures a lot of the locally-well-known dishes that you can't find here).

***Of course, this is just one interpretation and viewpoint...

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On 4/28/2012 at 10:56 PM, discojing said:

I'll ask around! My dad's side of the family is from Guandong, though I don't think they'll be much help since they've been in the states a while.

Guangdong (I'm assuming Guandong was a typo?) is credibly believed to be responsible for Chop Suey.

Chop suey is widely believed to have been invented in the U.S. by Chinese Americans, but anthropologist E. N. Anderson, a scholar of Chinese food, traces the dish to tsap seui (杂碎, "miscellaneous leftovers"), common in Taishan (Toisan), a county in Guangdong province, the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the United States.[1][2] Hong Kong doctor Li Shu-fan likewise reported that he knew it in Toisan in the 1890s.[3]

Well, that's *one* ethnic embarrassment America might not be responsible for.


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