Shandong cuisine is generally salty, with a prevalence of light-colored sauces. The dishes feature choice of materials, adept technique in slicing and perfect cooking skills. Shandong cuisine is representative of northern China's cooking and its technique has been widely absorbed by the imperial dishes of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. Sichuan cuisine features a wide range of materials, various seasonings and different cooking techniques. Statistics show that the number of Sichuan dishes has surpassed 5,000. With a rich variety of strong flavors, Sichuan food is famous for its numerous varieties of delicacies, dominated by peppery and chili flavors and best known for being spicy-hot.
Cantonese cuisine, the hardest to categorize, emphasizes light cooking with seemingly limitless range of ingredients. Cantonese cuisine took shape in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In the process of its development, it has borrowed the culinary essence of northern China and of the Western-style food, while maintaining its traditional local flavor. Yangzhou cuisine bases itself largely on the three local cooking styles of Yangzhou, Nanjing and Suzhou, all within Jiangsu Province. While emphasizing the original flavors of well-chosen materials, it features carefully selected ingredients, also, the artistic shape and bright colors of the dishes and more ornamental value. Yangzhou cuisine is essentially a combination of the best elements of northern and southern cooking. According to some others, the characteristic flavors of China’s four major cuisines can be summed up in the following expression: “The light southern (Canton) cuisine, and the salty northern (Shangdong) cuisine; the sweet eastern (Yangzhou) cuisine, and the spicy western (Sichuan) cuisine.”