Like other aspects of Chinese life, cuisine is heavily influenced by geography and ethnic diversity. Among the main styles of Chinese cooking are Cantonese, which features stir-fried dishes, and Szechuan, which relies heavily on use of peanuts, sesame paste and ginger and is known for its spiciness.
Rice is not only a major food source in China; it is also a major element that helped grow their society, according to "Pathways to Asian Civilizations: Tracing the Origins and Spread of Rice and Rice Cultures," an 2011 article in the journal Rice by Dorian Q. Fuller. The Chinese word for rice is fan, which also means "meal," and it is a staple of their diet, as are bean sprouts, cabbage and scallions. Because they do not consume a lot of meat — occasionally pork or chicken — tofu is a main source of protein for the Chinese.