I believe many American students in our school have eaten Chinese food. But you know what? Most Chinese food in the United States is not authentic Chinese food. The food here is often adapted to local tastes. For example, it’s sweeter and less spicy than real Chinese food. Now I will introduce some real Chinese food culture.
It is not easy to give a brief description of the civilization of Chinese food in a short message. That is because there are more than 56 distinct population groups inside mainland China, and the large area causes different dining habits among the different districts.
First of all, we need to know that the old China was developed in a farming society and most of the dining habits and meals culture are based on this factor. Chinese are used to having their dinner together with all the family members, sitting around a table and all people will have one set of dining tools in front of them, including two bowls–one for rice and another for soup–one pair of chopsticks and one plate for meat/vegetables. They will share the food dishes that were made and put into the center of the table. Diners will only pick up the food from the dishes they want to eat. They will pick it up and place it onto the small plate in front of them.
There are two special habits. One is, Chinese diners never pick up rice from the bowl but will hold the bowl toward their lips, then poke the rice into their mouths with chopsticks. The other one is, Chinese always have soup during or after dining.
You can distinguish the style of cuisine by region. There are so many traditional and special Chinese foods, according to the folk culture, district, religion and festival. For the famous classes divided by district, there are styles of Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan, Northwest and so on. Or the food can be distinguished by folk culture. There are Kajia, Yunan, Fujian, etc. These all above mentioned styles are well-known worldwide.
We can divide the farming products of the main food in China into three styles. Those are Rice in southern and eastern China, Wheat in northern China and Sweet Corn in middle, northern and western China. Because of their farming products, the people living in southern China will have rice, congee or rice noodles as their main food. In northern Chinese people will have wheat-made products such as buns, noodles and pancakes. Of course, people can have any food that they want nowadays.
Climate also affects taste. There is a big difference about the diets between northern and southern China, that is, the dishes made by northern chefs are heavier in taste than those that are comparably light in southern chefs’ recipes. Sometimes we say it is tasty as sweet and fresh southern Chinese food. In the northern and western provinces of China, such as Lingxia, Hebei, Sichuan, Shenxi and Yunnan, the diets are made hot and spicy, because of the humid, cold weather and high altitude. Chinese people believe that to perspire is a good method for preventing diseases caused by humidity and cold.
Are you more interested in Chinese food after reading this article? We welcome you to China to taste the delicious food!