Drinking morning tea, brewing soup and holding flower fairs during Spring Festival are three unique characteristics of Cantonese culture. People love drinking tea served alongside dishes of dim sum at breakfast and spending hours to brew a pot of soup using seasonal ingredients. Because of Guangdong’s moderately warm and humid weather during the Spring Festival, the city is always spruced up with blossoming flowers in early spring. Therefore, flower fairs are inevitable public events held annually to celebrate the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
To understand authentic Cantonese life, it is best to start with lessons you can taste. One of the eight major culinary styles in China, mouth-watering Cantonese cuisine can be a feast for both your mouth and your mind.
Cantonese roast goose:
Pieces of roast goose are a must on the dinner tables of new arrivals in Guangdong. The tender meat and crisp skin combine with the sweet sauce to create a fantastic flavor that is the best representation of the tastes of Cantonese people.
The cuisines of southern China often provide people with enjoyable lightly seasoned foods. Cantonese food is no exception. Wonton noodles – stewed noodles and shrimp wontons in chicken soup garnished with Chinese cabbage leaves – are always a good choice for people seeking delicate and mild flavor.
Rice noodle rolls:
This snack which resembles a pig’s intestine is a popular indigenous food favored by the local people. Ground beef or marinated shrimp is wrapped in a wide strip of rice noodle that is served with soybean sauce or other sauces.
Potted rice is another unique Cantonese dish that is popular for both its delicate taste and its convenience. Cooked rice is heated in a pot of pork chops, diced chicken or sausage matched with cabbage, Chinese cabbage or carrots. It’s an easy and healthy way to make a delicious meal.
Crisp durian pastry:
Crisp baked pastries stuffed with durian starch are a modern culinary invention. However, the tasty treats have become a genuine Cantonese specialty. Taking a bite of the layered crust, people will smell a strong durian flavor together with a sweet fragrance as the melting filling accentuates the unique taste of the dim sum.
Cantonese Soup in Guangdong embodies the native people's exquisite culinary regimen, which is designed to not only satisfy a hungry stomach but also to nourish the body and prevent diseases. Carefully selected ingredients which could include pork knuckles, carrots, ginseng slices and chicken should be brewed for several hours to make the soup, and different varieties are provided for different seasons. For example, bitter melon wouldn't be included in winter soup recipes, while ginseng slices are usually avoided on sizzling summer days.
People in Guangdong are accustomed to enjoying a pot of tea served with at least two dishes of dim sum each morning. The dim sum could be glutinous shrimp dumplings, crispy durian pastries or water chestnut cakes. Whether it is frugal or luxurious, simple or sophisticated, the morning tea is seen as the best way to start a new day. Commuters hurry to their offices after finishing their tea, while people with free time prefer to stay at the teahouses, chatting and resting until the very end of the service.