What is the difference between Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, and Shanghai style Chinese food!?
I agree totally with synszn!.!.!.!. You can't tell "difference" if you're not into it!.!. !.
Chinese Cuisines has their characteristic due to geographical location: East (Sweet), South (Saltish), West (Sour) & North (Hot)!. These are mainly their kind of taste perference but doesnt mean that Eastern Chinese definitely perfer sweet stuffs and Western Chinese will definitely love sour stuffs
SzeChuan (Sichuan), Chuan Cuisine major in Hot/Spicy and even to the extend of "Numb"! Not all the dishes like this of course !.
Hunan, Xiang Cuisine major in Sour & Spicy too!. Hunan dish also emphasize on the cutting skill!. How thin, how thick & what shape to cut the food will produce a different effect on eating !.
Shanghai cuisine is not one of the Great Eight Chinese Cuisines!. However it's a collection of two of the Great Eight namely Zhejiang, Zhe Cuisine and Jiangsu, Su Cuisine!. It's a little towards sweet but definitely not all are sweet!.
Cantonese (Guangdong), Yue is top Cuisine of the Eight bcoz it's a collection of many other cuisines throughout the past few hundred years!. It's main characteristic is on "fresh", the only cuisine that stress on the "fresh taste" other than the other 5 tastes: sour, sweet, bitter, hot, saltish!. Most of their seafood preparation by steam, scald, boil, double-boil to maintain their freshness of the ingredients !.
The above are just some simple comparison between each other but are definitely not "the difference" between them coz what in one cuisine have, the other cuisine may also have it too!.!. !.
Pls check link below!.!.!.!. Www@FoodAQ@Com
Wow!.!.!. such a complex question!. Cantonese styled foods are more milder than the rest!. Shanghai style foods use sugar in their soy sauces, also they like to use vinegar and sesame oil!. I'm not sure about Hunan and Szechuan but I believe that Hunan used quite a lot of shallots and garlic and Szechuan is spicy and hot!. I'm more familiar with Taiwanese and Cantonese style Chinese foods so I may not be so much help!.Www@FoodAQ@Com
Don't you have time to go out!? These foods take more than twenty years to figure out just by eating them twice a month or so!. Maybe you wanted some-one to copy something from a web-site for you!? I bought the Encyclopedia of Chinese Food for basic questions like that!.!.!.still (after 10 years) not real sure!.Www@FoodAQ@Com