The stereotype about Sichuan cuisine, says food writer and cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop, is that it's all chile and lip-tingling Sichuan pepper. "But actually it's more complex than that. Real Sichuanese cooking is a wonderful rollercoaster of taste sensations. Some of the food is very hot and very numbing but it also has sort of gentle sweet chili tastes and all kinds of variations on the chili theme." Dunlop lays out the range of flavors in Sichuanese food and discusses how this cuisine is changing in Chengdu. While we're at it, here are the Sichuan places to try in our neck of the woods.
Music (top): "Más Que Nada"
Music (bottom): "Music on the Road"