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Pungency, to the degree of numbness, is a salient feature of Sichuan dishes. As the saying goes, “While China is an epicurean paradise, Sichuan is the place to be for those hunting for the most delectable and exquisite of dishes.” Indeed, Sichuan cooks select their ingredients woth great care and use a variety of seasonings for different dishes. The result is a hundred dishes that are by turns hot and spicy, fragrant in five different ways, odd in odor, numbingly hot (using chilly and Chinese prickly ash) and hot and sour-just to mention a few common flavours. Spicy pork shreds, diced chicken with peanuts and vegetables, stewed bear’s paw, odd-flavoured chicken cubes in mixed spices, stir-fried bean curd in chili and Chinese prickly ash, and fried carp… are some of the renowned Sichuan dishes.

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