Chinese people around the world just celebrated the start of the year of the goat. This is a perfect time to celebrate a favorite aspect of Chinese culture: the food! While New York’s and San Francisco’s Chinatowns are obvious, here are some locations you probably didn’t know had thriving Chinese communities and gourmet scenes:
Australia experienced a giant wave of Chinese immigration in the 1850s. Since then, Chinese food has become prevalent throughout the country. Many claim that the Chinese are to thank for introducing rice, noodles and various vegetables to the distant, largely-Anglo-Saxon country. Melbourne and Sydney have the largest Chinese restaurant selections.
Chinese people started representing a significant part of Canada’s population in the 1800s, and became so integrated that there is even a specific “Canadian-Chinese cuisine.”
Liverpool, England, perhaps better known as the home of the Beatles, also boasts Europe’s largest urban Chinese population. You’ll find tons of ethnic Chinese restaurants, markets, book shops and cinemas. The city’s Chinese New Year celebrations are overflowing with cool events where you can learn more and even prepare Chinese food.
Malaysia has a huge Chinese population – as well as its own unique take on the cuisine. Look for street kiosks which serve traditional Chinese “fast food” and the “Kopitiams,” Chinese cafes that offer hot drinks.
This location would be redundant if not for the fact that what we think we know about Chinese cuisine is only a fraction of the reality. Most of the Chinese restaurants you’ll encounter in the West offer food originating in Cantonese-style cooking. China is huge. Each region has its own recipes, styles and unique dishes. What you will discover is that a lot of “real” Chinese bears little resemblance to what you know from your local greasy take-out.