Sichuan has been known as the Land of Abundance since ancient times. Rivers flow across this evergreen land which abounds in cooking materials, ranging from delicacies and game in mountainous regions to fish, shrimp and crab in the rivers; from poultry and livestock to fresh and perennial vegetables and mushroom; as well as various kinds of condiments of high quality, such as Zigong Well-Salt, Neijiang Sugar, Langzhong Baoning Vinegar, Deyang Soy Sauce, Pixian Chilli Bean Paste and Sichuan Pepper Corn, providing a good material basis for a variety of Sichuan cuisine. In addition, the liquor and tea in Sichuan of excellent quality greatly promote the development of Sichuan catering culture. The development of Sichuan cuisine not only relies on its rich natural conditions, but also benefits from drawing on foreign experience. Historically, officials coming from outside to govern Sichuan brought also with them dietary habits and delicacies into Sichuan, especially during the Ming dynasty, let alone the large number of migrants from other provinces. These groups of people brought their original eating habits into the region and gradually integrated into the traditional dietary habits of Sichuan. In this case, Sichuan cuisine quickly took in the advantages of various origins while inherited and carried forward traditions, continuing to make progresses, thus forming the unique Sichuan cuisine with a broad mass base.
The Sichuan cuisine, marked by being convenient and quick, delicious and cost-friendly, has exerted extensive influence over various regions and various stratums even overseas regions. The Kung Pao Chicken, Mapo Doufu, Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce, Twice Cooked Pork etc. have long been well-known by tourists both at home and abroad. Furthermore, many famous traditional folk snacks and pastry in various regions of Sichuan such as Doufunao, Guokui and Spring Rolls add strong local flavor to Sichuan cuisine. In particular when hot pot swept the streets and lanes of Sichuan in the 20th century, there formed a saying that “if you go to Sichuan without eating hot pot, that means you have never been there”. In a word, Sichuan cuisine with rich flavors, drawing on extensive materials, is known for the use of Sichuan pepper. The distinctive cooking techniques and the strong local flavor win the favour of people domestically and internationally. Many people praised as “cuisine in China while flavor in Sichuan”. In 2010, Chengdu was approved by the UNESCO as “the City of Gastronomy”, which makes Chengdu the first gastronomy city in Asia.