Chinese cuisine includes styles originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world including most Asian nations. The history of Chinese cuisine in China stretches back for thousands of years and has changed from period to period and in each region according to climate, imperial fashions, and local preferences.
Let’s learn some facts about it!
1.Chinese food has the world’s biggest variety of flavors. It has five key flavors that must be balanced according to traditional Chinese medicine — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy.
2.The colder, drier north favors wheat production, so northerners eat dumplings, wheat noodles, steamed buns, and stuffed buns mostly.
3.In the south, Chinese eat bowls of rice or rice noodles with almost every meal (as well as far greater varieties of fruit and veg), and only occasionally eat wheat.
4.The staple foods of Chinese cooking include rice, noodles, vegetables, and sauces and seasonings.
5.Techniques and ingredients from the cuisines of other cultures were integrated into the cuisine of the Chinese people due both to imperial expansion and from the trade with nearby regions in pre-modern times, and from Europe and the New World in the modern period.
6.Animals such as buffalos are important to agriculture and their dairy products are part of the Chinese diet and nomads also had influence on Chinese diets.
7.Over part of the ancient history it was not legal to consume beef. The belief that farming animals are sacred and beef is for the highest ritual has been lasting and influential, as same clauses existed in ancient Japanese and Korean laws.
8.Unlike in most world cuisines, the soup is part of the last course in Chinese cuisine. The Chinese say that it allows for better digestion, especially after an entrée of pork or duck.
9.In most dishes in Chinese cooking, food is prepared in bite sized pieces, ready for direct picking up and eating.
10.Chinese culture considered using knives and forks unsuitable at the table due to fact that these instruments are regarded as weapons.
11.The “Eight Culinary Cuisines” of China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.
12.Fujian Cooking in the East – Chinese clear soupsSome of Fujian’s famous dishes are clear soups and seafood.
13.Both rice and wheat are grown in Fujian, so rice and noodles are the staples.
14.Noodle is famous in Fujian and other parts of China.
15.There are many different types, and every region has its own specialty noodle dish.
16.Cantonese Cuisine in the South – Chinese steam dumplingsCantonese (Guangdong) food specializes in stir frying, steaming and roasting.
17.Some of the well-known dishes include stir-fried beef and peppers with black bean sauce, chicken and Dim Sum (a meal made out of different snacks and it is served in the early morning).
18.An example of Dim Sum is dumpling. They can be fried or boiled, and the most common way of cooking them is to steam them. Chinese people steam dumplings in small round bamboo baskets, which are piled up on top of each other, just like a tower of dumplings in different floors.
19.Sichuan Cuisine in the West – Sichuan Ma Po TofuSichuan’s style emphasizes on hot and spicy.
20. Chili paste, garlic, and ginger are some of the most common ingredients. Some of Sichuan’s famous dishes are Ma Po Tofu (cooked with chili peppers and beans in a spicy sauce) and Gong Bao Chicken.
21.Hotpot is Sichuan’s specialty. It’s a pot of boiling water filled with herbs and spices. People then dip the food they want to eat into the pot so that it gets cooked right there on the table.
22.Beijing Cuisine in the North – Beijing cuisine is the style prevalent in Northern China, and its emphasis is on light and subtle flavors.
23.One of China’s famous dishes is Beijing Roast Duck, a tasty meal of crispy duck slices eat on thin pancakes with a kind of dipping sauced called hoisinsauce.
24.It used to be eaten only by the emperor. Now, everyone can enjoy it.
25.China uses 45 billion pairs of chopsticks per year. That’s an unremarkable average of 2 or 3 pairs a month for its approaching 1.4 billion population. The government has imposed a disposable chopstick tax to reduce usage.
26.Tea is served at dim summeals and often comes in flavors like Green Tea and Chrysanthemum.
27.Generally, seasonal fruits serve as the most common form of dessert consumed after dinner.
28.Chinese desserts are sweet foods and dishes that are served with tea, along with meals, or at the end of meals in Chinese cuisine.
29.In larger cities, a wide variety of Chinese bakery products are available, including baked, steamed, boiled, or deep-fried sweet or savory snacks.
30. Bings are baked wheat flour based confections, and include moon cake, red bean paste pancake, and sun cake.
31.Ice cream is believed to have originated in China around 2000 BC. Many accounts left by historians suggest that an emperor enjoyed ice cream and kept it a royal secret until Marco Polo visited China and took the frozen food to Italy.
32.Chinese attach particular meanings to certain foods based on shapes, colors, pronunciations, and legends. Superstition and tradition dictate certain foods must be eaten for certain festivals/events to invoke a blessing.
33.The honored guest is customarily seated furthest from the door with the fish, chicken, duck heads pointing his way.
34.Chinese food, when authentic is probably the healthiest food in the world.
35.Some restaurants, which are not authentic, prepare their menu with highly saturated fats or with meats that contain unhealthy amounts of animal fat.
36.These Chinese restaurants are not recommended and they are both neither authentic nor healthy.
37.Authentic Chinese food does not require the use of milk-fat ingredients such as cream, butter or cheese.
38.Meat is used, but not in abundance, which makes it easy for those who love authentic Chinese food to avoid high levels of animal fat.
39.The Chinese dining etiquette has that youths should not sit at the table before the elders. In addition to this, youths should not start eating before the elders start eating. When eating with a bowl, one should not hold it with its bottom part, because it resembles the act of begging.
40.Also, when taking a break from eating at the table, one should not put the chopstick into the rice vertically, because it resembles the Chinese traditional funeral tribute, which involves putting chopstick inside a bowl of rice vertically.