It’s time to get familiar with the nuances of Asian cuisine, as every country, city and street corner has an exceptional dish with appeal that knows no bounds. On a macro level, the popular sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavors of East Asian cuisine are prominently featured on many restaurant menus and retail shelves. But a deeper dive into regional fare (i.e. the eight main cuisines of China) reveals differences in technique and featured ingredients. Hunan dishes, for example, are characterized by abundant use of chile peppers, along with smoked and cured ingredients—while Sichuan fare features broad bean chile paste, oil and citrusy, mouth-tingling Sichuan peppercorns. Chefs and manufacturers are also embracing the bright, aromatic flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine, accented with galangal, makrut lime and turmeric. And mixologists are finding inspiration in South Asia by featuring cocktails with mango, chai tea and even garam masala simple syrup. What ties these seemingly disparate cuisines together is the common thread of harmony: Balanced flavors, textures and temperatures can be found across the board, creating an entire continent of dishes worth exploring.