and Introduction of Chinese Food
Chinese people has always treated food as part of their culture
very much. There is an old saying still being quoted today ---"Food
is the first neccessity of the people." Delicious
and nutritious food has been regarded as the basics of ordinary
the greeting for most Chinese when meeting one another tends
to be "how are you", but more popularly, "Have
you eaten?" ! Everywhere in China, regardless if
it's a big or small town, you can find Chinese restaurants and
food stalls easily. In fact, Chinese restaurants are commonly
found in cities all over the world!
in China is a communal affair. Chinese food is often taken together
as a family unit with the emphasis on shared dishes. Only the rice
or buns are served individually; everything else is shared
from a communal bowl, including the main soup.
is always a Chinese culture to greet each other while sitting
down for a meal and wait for
everyone to be seated before a meal can start. The most senior
or elderly person at the table will take the first bite and
will the rest of the diners join in.
Chinese food or cuisine
Chinese foof has always been
part of the Chinese culture for a long time. In fact, food
is very much part of the Chinese
people culture and way of life. Due to it's long history,
Chinese food or cuisine is very much affected by the local
history and geography.
Chinese culinary culture has a distant source and has been developed
for many centuries. The legend has it that the Chinese cooking culture
originated with Yi Yin, a virtuous and capable minister of the Shang
Dynasty (ca. 15th to 11th century B.C.). It can be seen that China
initiated the culinary art as early as the Shang and Zhou (ca. 11th
century to 221 B.C.) times.
cuisine can be generally classified under Southern
and Northern categories. In general, the southern
dishes emphasize freshness and tenderness. Due to the cold weather,
northern dishes are relatively oily, and the use of vinegar and
garlic tends to be quite popular. As far as staple food is concerned,
people in North China favor noodles, dumplings and other staple
food made from flour while the majority in the South almost consume
As time went by, distinct local flavors were added to the Chinese
dishes, such as the Northern food("Lu" or the Shandong
dishes), the Southern food ("Yue" or the Cantonese dishes),
the Chuan food (Sichuan dishes), Huai Yang (Yangzhou) and the vegetarian
foods and recipes of each kind of dishes have been handed down.
There are four oldest types of Chinese food: the Sichuan, Cantonese,
Northern(Beijing and Shandong) and Huaiyang. Later on, eight types
gradually evolved after the Tang and Song Dynasties (the Beijing,
Sichuan, Cantonese, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan and Fujian groups).
Each of these groups has its own history and unique techniques.
Northern (Shandong, Beijing) Cuisine
The Northern (Shandong, Beijing) type is known for its preparation
of dried products such as shrimp, scallops and sea cucumber. Noodles,
dumplings and buns tend to be a staple diet. It is best known for
Sichuan food features hearty cooking flavoured with an exotic palette
of spices: red and black pepper, sesame paste, flower pepper and
fermented bean paste. Sichuan dishes are known to be "ma
la hot" or "tongue burning spicy-hot."
The Cantonese cuisine is perhaps the most famous
of the various Chinese cuisine. The world outside is in fact most
familiar with Cantonese cuisine, having spread
far and wide across the world by intrepid Chinese chefs from Hong
Kong who have migrated to various parts of the world. Canonese cuisine
is famous for its remarkable range of refined ingredients cooked
with a light touch, featuring roast meats, oyster sauce, black beans
and shrimp paste. Cantonese dishes are well known for their freshness,
tenderness and smoothness.
The Jiangsu type food can be classified into that of Suzhou-Wuxi
style and Zhenjiang-Yangzhou style. The feature of Suzhou-style
dishes is their natural flavour in original stock and a mixture
of salty and sweet taste. The characteristics of Zhenjiang-Yangzhou
style food are best described by the saying that the soup is so
clear that you can see the bottom of the bowl and the sauce is so
thick that it turns creamy white.
Zhejiang food is represented by Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing styles.
Dishes of Hangzhou style are meticulously prepared, hence tasty
and crisp. A blend of freshness and saltiness characterize dishes
of Ningbo style. Steamed and roasted seafood is Ningbo's specialty.
Shaoxing hood, with poultry as its main specialty, is palatable,
crisp and glutinous.
Hunan food takes curing, simmering, steaming and stewing as the
main cooking methods. Dishes of this style are usually tinged with
sour and spicy flavor and are thoroughly cooked.
Anhui style food features dishes stewed in brown sauce with stress
on heavy oil and sauce. Delicacies are abundant in Anhui dishes.
Fujian dishes, mostly marinated in wine, are sourly sweet. They
stress beautiful colors and fresh tastes. Seafood dishes are Fujian
specialties. Taiwan is also famous for it's Fujian cuisine.
addition to the main categories of Chinese Cuisine, there are
in fact a wide variety of sub-Cuisine developed in the many towns
and villages of China and including the various Chinee communities
spread throughout the world.
you would like to try cooking Chinese food, check out this interesting
recipe book that is suitable even for beginners. Or email
us for further information.