The southern Chinese embraced the American Indian chili quite fondly. The Portuguese probably introduced most of the new American foods through their Chinese colony of Macao. With these new spices and foods the city of Canton, upriver from Macao, quickly became known for having the best cuisine in China. The inland provinces of Szechuan and Hunan, lacking the delicate variety of the cuisine of all the seacoast provinces of China, found in the chili a dietary diversion. Chilies became essential parts of Hunanese and Szechuan sauces and elicited new flavors from the traditional vegetables. The Chinese also found a variety of ways to mix the chilies with a few other sauces and oil to make a sauce that could be preserved and used any season of the year. The Chinese shared the Indian fondness for the peanut, which quickly found a place in a range of meat and vegetable dishes. The Chinese also transformed the new sweet potato by making it into very delicate noodles that rivaled wheat noodles in popularity.