China covers a large expanse of land that stretches from a subarctic climate in the north all the way down to a tropical climate in the south. The land is divided into provinces that vary greatly geographically. The climate, historical proximity to trade routes, as well as the geographical features of an area, such as mountains, rivers, and forests, greatly influence the cuisine from each of the provinces. This led to a wonderful array of dishes that can be experienced within the umbrella of Chinese cuisine. Try making chao nian gao, a delicious stir fried chicken with chewy rice cakes dish from Shanghai. Or, if you're in the mood for something spicy, perhaps Sichuan province's famous mapo tofu in a wonderful spicy pork sauce.