The word “Szechuan” food is embedded in the English language in association with Chinese cuisine, especially with spicy dishes. However, the proper reference to this unique Chinese province noted for its legendary spicy foods is actually “Sichuan” ever since the establishment of the modern system of “ping yin” (the pronunciation of Chinese words using the English alphabet) under the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Not only does the English word for this notorious Chinese province needs new recognition, but also the meaning of authentic Sichuan spiciness requires a new understanding. The spicy side of Uncle Joe’s menu does precisely that. There are many varieties of spicy foods around the world, but the spicy taste of Sichuan cuisine has its unique distinguishing qualities. In addition to a variety of hot peppers is a special peppercorn that is not “hot” per se but rather “numbing” — its ingestion leaves a numbing sensation on the tongue and around the lips. It may be strange to the uninitiated, but it is mandatory for the connoisseur of Sichuan cuisine. Without this, the dish is just frankly not “Sichuan”. It is this quintessential hallmark of Sichuan spiciness that defines the most famous spicy cuisine worldwide.
When Uncle Joe’s menu specifies that the taste is “Sichuan”, we pledge that we believe this taste is truly authentic by Chinese standards.