Difference Between Hunan and Sichuan Food

From my latest piece on Chinese food in Los Angeles:

Hunan food is very spicy, but that spice level can be adjusted. There aren’t any tongue-numbing ingredients in Hunan cuisine either. Sichuan food is both tongue-numbing and spicy because of the incorporation of peppercorns. The way we cook food in Hunan-style cuisines also tends to accentuate the flavor of the dishes. There’s a lot of vegetables used and the spice doesn’t drown the flavor — it accentuates it. — John Huang, owner of Mao’s Restaurant and SGV Hunan food pioneer

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