Home>>>Chinese culture>>>>Chinese Cooking

china   Food

With a time-honored history, Chinese cuisine culture is extensive and profound. According to records, as early as in the Shang and Zhou dynasties over 3,000 years ago, a fairly complete culinary system was formed. Thanks to the constant development and improvement in the past several thousand years, Chinese cuisine has become a complete culture system with unique characteristics, and has given birth to tea culture, wine culture and other cultures. Both meticulously prepared imperial dishes and local snacks reflect the Chinese people's pursuit for delicacies and the country's deep cultural ins and outs of the Chinese nation. China is a world-renowned "Culinary Kingdom." As one of the six important elements of tourism. i.e., transport, sightseeing, accommodation, food, shopping and entertainment, "food" is one of the most important component parts of China's abundant tourism resources. Delicious Chinese food attracts thousands upon thousands of foreign tourists to China. While visiting scenic Chinese tourist attractions. tourists can also taste various kinds of delicious food.

China has a vast territory and a large number of ethnic groups. Thanks to the great differences in the climate, geographical environment, and historical and cultural development of different regions, various styles of cuisine have been formed, each having its own distinct characteristics. The cooking techniques and different styles of cuisine reflect the quintessence of unique Chinese cooking techniques, and represent the level of Chinese culinary.

China has local cuisine, imperial dishes, dishes of ethnic minorities, Islamic dishes with a strong religious flavor and vegetarian dishes. At the beginning China had only four styles of cuisine. i.e., Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong and Huaiyang cuisine, which later developed into eight major styles of cuisine, then 10 main styles of cuisine, special styles of dishes of ethnic minorities such as Mongolian dishes, Tibetan dishes, Manchu dishes, Zhuang dishes and so on. Each ethnic minority dishes displays its unique ethnic customs. Dishes in the style of the ancients, includes Dishes of the Confucius Mansion. Tan Family Dishes, and Imitated "Dream of Red Mansions" Dishes, in addition to various kinds of local snacks, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Jinan and Chengdu snacks. These styles of cuisine reflect China's rich and colorful catering culture in an all-round way.

Foods prepared by varied places are quite different in tastes, showing strong regional features. The people of northwest China love sour food; those of southwest China are fond of spicy food; and those from south and east China prefer sweet food. The people of north China mainly eat cooked wheaten food, such as steamed bread, steamed twisted rolls, pancakes and noodles; and the people of south China take rice as staple food.

The Chinese people have always maintained: "One does not object to the finest food." In Chin, cooking is a special skill, as well as an art, with profound contents and varied forms. Chinese cooking techniques feature time-honored history and consummate skills, and attach great importance to the combination of beautiful shapes and delicious tastes. Chinese food is known for bright colors, beautiful forms, tempting smell and various tastes.

With a long history, remarkable characteristics and rich connotations. Chinese cooking techniques are spread far and wide, and Chinese food is loved by the people all over the world. China, France and Turkey enjoy the highest reputation in the world for their culinary cultures, known as the "three major culinary schools." Chinese culinary art has made great contributions to human civilization. Now Chinese restaurants are spread all over the world. Many foreigners have got to know China and Chinese catering culture through tasting Chinese food.

The Chinese people have always attached great importance to their food and beverages. An old Chinese saying goes: "People regard food as their prime want." Along with the improvement of the people's livelihood, the people all over the world are paying more and more attention to catering culture. Tasting delicious Chinese food in different places of China is one of the reasons why foreign tourists come to China. Eating delicious food after (loin" sightseeing will make their trip to China more satisfactory. The saying of "eating in China" is universally accepted.

In China delicious food is often linked with festivals and celebrations. For instance, Jiaozi (dumpling with meat and vegetable stuffing) eaten during the Spring Festival. Zongzi (a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, and moon cakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival have become indispensable parts in the life of the Chinese people. At the Nadam Grassland Fair of the Mongolian ethnic minority, the Corban Festival of the Huis, the Water Sprinkling Festival of the Dais. and the game of "Maidens Chasing Her Lover" of Uygurs, tourists from all over the country may taste mutton and rice eaten with fingers, fried pastry and other delicious food. To enrich the cultural life of the people and promote the development of Chinese tourism, various kinds of delicacy festivals and celebrations are held every year in different regions of China, such as Guangzhou International Delicacy Festival, Ordos Delicacy Festival of the Inner Mongolia

Autonomous Region. Shandong Qilu Tourism Delicacy Festival, Chengdu Delicacy and Hot Pot Festival, etc. These festivals and celebrations have played and will continue to play an important role in promoting the development of tourism, the improvement and dissemination of cooking techniques, enriching China's tourism resources and products, and propelling the Chinese delicacy culture.

With the main Chinese styles of cuisine as the clues, this book introduces delicacy cultures and rich and colorful delicacy festivals and celebrations of different regions in great detail, and recommends some representative restaurants and hotels. With the help of this book, foreign tourists can taste various kinds of delicacies while visiting tourist attractions in China.

Confucius once said: "Eating is the utmost important part of life."
Food is a central part of the Chinese culture. Chinese cuisine is one of the greatest methods of cooking. Many elements have influenced its development. The Chinese people enjoy eating good food at all levels of society, so cooking has developed into a very sophisticated art.

Chinese cuisine is noted for the following characteristics: 
Vegetables are the main ingredients. 
This explains why most Chinese women are slim and men free of cardiovascular diseases. This is because in China, an agricultural country, there is a traditional respect for land. As the old saying goes, " Live on the mountain if you live in one and live on water if you live by water." The Chinese are meticulous about food preparation. Whether it is pastries or vegetables, they always try to make it tasty and flavorful. For example, beans, a common vegetable, are exquisitely prepared into such delicious dishes as bean sprouts and bean curd. 

The Chinese people like well-prepared food. 
Zealous about food absorption and digestion, they are scrupulous about the temperature while cooking. Undercooked food is unacceptable to them. To the Chinese, the sight of Westerners eating undercooked steaks still oozing blood inside is horrible. In addition, warm soup is very important. Wonton, or dumpling soup, and noodles are popular nationwide. Other hot soups include jellied bean curd, rice porridge and corn porridge. 

Chinese also like to eat together, a tradition that can be traced back a long time ago. 
It reflects the Chinese notion of union versus division---round tables, round dishes, and round bowls all symbolize union and perfection. Dishes are usually placed at the center of the table so that everyone around the table can share them. A hot pot, in particular, adds to the atmosphere of harmony and union. Friends eat and live together. A recent book by an American Sinologist held that the Chinese collective tradition developed out of the practice of eating together. 

Tea drinking is an integral part of Chinese life and the Chinese food experience. Tea is believed to be good for you. The Chinese were the first to discover the tealeaf and have been drinking tea ever since in many varieties.

 A brief introduction of Chinese food

Chinese cooking is one of the greatest methods of cooking. Since ancient time, many factors that have influenced its development. Confucius once said: "Eating is the utmost important thing in life." Cooking Chinese food requires more time and effort, and is considered a very sophisticated art. As a result, many travelers who have visited China consider Chinese cuisines one of the best

A meal in Chinese culture is typically seen as consisting of two general components:

main food - a carbohydrate source or starch, typically rice (predominant in southern parts of China),noodles, or buns (predominant in northern parts of China), and
accompanying dishes - of vegetables, fish, meat, or other items.

This cultural conceptualization is in some ways in contrast to Western meals where meat or animal protein is often considered the main dish. Chopsticks are the primary eating utensil in Chinese culture for solid foods, while spoons are used for drinking soups. Food is usually prepared in bite-sized pieces (except fish, crabs and so on), ready for direct picking up and eating. Traditionally, Chinese culture considered using knives and forks at the table "barbaric" due to fact that these implements are regarded as weapons. It was also considered ungracious have guests work at cutting their own food.

Chinese food styles

As China is a geographically huge country, it is diverse in climate, ethnicity and subcultures. Not surprisingly therefore, there are many distinctive styles of cuisine. Traditionally there are eight main families of dishes, namely

* Hui (Anhui)
* Yue (Cantonese)
* Min (Fujian)
* Xiang (Hunan)
* Yang (Jiangsu)
* Lu (Shandong)
* Chuan (Szechuan)
* Zhe (Zhejiang)

Today there are mainly four main styles of food in China, namely the Beijing Style, the Shanghai Style, the Sichuan/Szechuan Style and the Cantonese Style. The Cantonese style is the most popular style in overseas restaurants. When you are traveling in China, you would find it extremely hard to resist the Peking duck, the Shanghai pork bun, or the Cantonese dim sum.

This section will introduce you to some of the finest chinese cuisines, and provide you with some Chinese food receipts. If you are traveling in China, don't forget to try out some of the dishes introduced here!