Analysing Chinese Food Culture Cultural Studies Essay


Numerous civilizations are scattered around the universe today, and among one of the oldest civilizations is the Chinese civilization.

China has a known history of over 4000 old ages and has been through more than 15 dynasties. Due to its wide history and an stray natural geographics, it has accumulated a rich civilization with its ain alone features different from others. Among its civilization, nutrient takes a immense portion of it. Traveling through the history, Chinese nutrient has evolved from basic cookery to a really complex portion of the Chinese civilization. ( Chinese History, 2005 )

The Differences between Different Regions

China covers a huge country of land, and although there are many similarities among those people who live on it, different regional civilizations still have their ain features. We will first split China into four chief countries: Beijing ( North ) , Canton ( South ) , Shanghai ( East ) , and Szechuan ( West ) . Subsequently, we will further split it into 8 parts for a more elaborate position of the Chinese nutrient civilization.

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In the northern China, people eat flour merchandises made from wheat as their chief beginning of nutrient due greatly to their local civilization. They do so because their harsh weather status does n’t let rice to be grown. The winters are stop deading cold, and summers are hot and really dry. That forced them to turn the easier adult nutrient, wheat, which created the alone feature for northern Chinese culinary art. Today, common nutrient from the north includes: dumplings, noodles, steamed buttockss, etc. ( ChineseHomeCooking.Com, 2005 )

In the southern China, unlike the North, their major basic is rice, and they have an abundant supply of veggies, fruits, and farm animal.

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This is because they have a mild conditions and H2O supply from the river. Besides, Canton is merely beside the sea and hence they have an ample supply of runts, fish, pediculosis pubis, etc. As a consequence, Canton culinary art includes a assortment of seafood and in about every repast, Cantonese chows rice and veggies. Cantonese nutrient is good known for its cookery methods. Methods that are often used include roasting, boiling, and Steaming. A celebrated dish called jook originated from southern China and subsequently distribute throughout China. Other celebrated nutrient from this topographic point includes Dim amount, which are celebrated nutrient from the south served on small home bases on wheel-carts. ( ChineseHomeCooking.Com, 2005 )

In the eastern China, people eat both rice and flour-made nutrients. Because the conditions is first-class for agribusiness, and there is Yangtze River for irrigation, this part has the greatest rice production compared with other parts in China. Due to this, rice is used by the people in many originative ways. They make rice into rice vino for drink or flavorer, or they use rice to do sweets. One distinguishable feature for eastern Chinese nutrient is its usage of red-cooking. It is a cookery technique in which you use soy sauce to season your nutrient, doing it to turn into the dark ruddy colour. In add-on, a reasonably big sum of sugar is added, giving it a sweet gustatory sensation. Similar to Canton, the eastern China has entree to both sea and river and hence seafood is common. Keeping it fresh and retaining its natural gustatory sensation is of import for eastern Chinese culinary art, so hence cooks at that place favor to cook by braising, grizzling, and roasting. ( ChineseHomeCooking.Com, 2005 )

Finally, in the western China, the best representative would be Szechuan ‘s culinary art. Szechuan is a basin surrounded by mountain and hence isolated from the remainder of China since long clip ago. It has a temperate warm, but humid clime all twelvemonth, so agribusiness is really successful at that place. Spices, veggies, and other tellurian stuff are common. Because Szechuan is nowhere close sea, it does n’t hold every bit much seafood as compared to Canton or Shanghai. Szechuan is known for its spicy hot nutrient. Most of their nutrient contains a batch of spice and chilly, and is normally dry and without sauce. This is due to their cultural belief. Harmonizing to the local people they believe that spicy nutrient helps you perspiration and when your perspiration precipitates, it brings the heat off so you will alternatively experience cool. On top of that, perspiration brings off toxics and helps maintain you healthy. Besides, they believe that spicy nutrient “ excite one ‘s roof of the mouth to be able to indulge the different tantalizing spirits presented in Szechuan culinary art. ” ( ChineseHomeCooking.Com, 2005 ) Unlike other parts, Szechuan people focus on techniques that can continue nutrient because of their humid clime. “ Salting, drying, smoke and pickling are popular methods used by families. ” ( ChineseHomeCooking.Com, 2005 )

Festivals and nutrient

Chinese civilization includes many festivals, and nutrients have a great association with it. Over 1000s of old ages, Chinese people have developed a big figure of festivals to delight the Gods and to observe ; nutrients take a great portion in it. In Chinese, a individual pronunciation can be represented by a batch of word characters. Most of the clip people will eat the nutrient that have the same pronunciation as something that symbols good luck. Foods that are prepared for Chinese New Year, such as twelvemonth bar and fish, are perfect illustrations. Nian Government Accounting Office, or the so called twelvemonth bar, is one of the nutrients that Chinese have to eat during New Year ‘s Festival. It is made of steamed gluey rice. In Chinese “ Government Accounting Office ” means high and “ nian ” means twelvemonth, this dish is a symbolisation of acquiring better, ascent to a higher place each twelvemonth. “ Nian ” is besides the pronunciation for lodging together. Chinese households will eat it while wishing the household will be together everlastingly. Another nutrient that will decidedly be on the tabular array is Fa Government Accounting Office. It is a cup bar like sweet made of flour, sugar and barm. “ Fa ” is the word for raising and gaining money in Chinese. Fish is one interesting dish that will be eaten during New Year. It is interesting because it will be placed on the tabular array but can non be eaten by anyone. The ground is that fish ‘s pronunciation is “ yu, ” which is the same as left over. Chinese people do n’t eat it because they wish something is left for them every twelvemonth. The long history of China besides influences their nutrient cultures a batch as we will shortly see.

Historical events helped created many festivals today, along with the traditional nutrients that come with it. The Dragon boat festival and Moon festival are the two good known illustrations. The celebrated nutrient Zhonzi, or the rice dumplings, was originally made to forestall fish from eating the organic structure of great poet, Qu Yuan, who jumped into the river ; nevertheless, it is now a recollection for his decease and eaten during the Dragon boat festival. Moon bars are for the Moon festival, the twenty-four hours which emperors used to pray to the Moon. Ancient Chinese made it harmonizing to the form of full Moon and carved symbols of good fortune on it.

Some antediluvian narratives besides have something to make with Chinese nutrient civilization. Take Dragon boat festival as an illustration. Peoples drink Shun Huan vino on Dragon boat festival to maintain the serpent adult female Bai Suchen off. It was recorded in an old narrative that a monastic used that vino to turn Suchen back to her original signifier. Shun Huan vino is a sort of medicated vino, the strong aroma can maintain off many bugs and insects, every bit good as serpents and other toxicant animate beings. The original ground to imbibe Shun Huan vino was to maintain people safe during May, the hottest month that attracts a batch of bugs, particularly for those who work in mountains. Other festivals besides have their ain narratives that are related to the things Chinese people do or eat on that twenty-four hours, but there are practical grounds behind it. ( The Chinese Festivals, 1-6 )

Table Mannerss

Dining may be counted as one of the most of import thing in Chinese civilization and much etiquette is expected to follow. Chinese respect themselves as the state of decorousness, so their regard to others, particularly to seniors, is an absolute mode. Before come ining the place, the invitee or the seniors will ever be asked to sit foremost and on the so called “ host place. ” In China, people have to utilize chopsticks, spoons, bowls and home bases to dine. Unlike western states which use knife and forks made out of steel, Chinese people use chopsticks made from bamboo and porcelain spoons. “ This is related to Confucianism, knife and fork are sing force, like cold arms. On the other manus, chopsticks reflect gradualness and benevolence. ” ( 1 ) Peoples hold chopsticks in one manus but it is impolite to set the other manus under the tabular array in Chinese civilization. When eating, it is of import to keep up the rice bowl in the other manus alternatively of puting it on the tabular array. Peoples will believe you are ill-mannered if you put your cubitus up on the tabular array, particularly when it takes up other people ‘s infinite, since Chinese eat in unit of ammunition tabular arraies. Chinese nutrients are placed in a big home base for everyone, and taking more nutrient while there are still some staying nutrient in your bowl is really impolite. It is besides out to utilize your ain chopsticks to delve around in the public home base seeking for the thing you want. Many regulations are made for dining in Chinese civilization, but it is sometimes hard for aliens to understand, even for younger coevalss in China.

Tea, Liquor, Herbal medical specialty and Food

Tea is the most common drink in China for over 1000s of old ages, people drink it about mundane. Every Chinese eating house offers tea and they do hold particular grounds. The most obvious one is because tea can neutralize the flavorers of the nutrient ; it can besides review the breath. The chief ground for Chinese people though, is that they see imbibing tea as a manner to quiet and loosen up. In ancient times, tea is counted as a type of herbal medical specialty. Nowadays Chinese have developed their particular imbibing civilizations. Different types of nutrient are served with different sorts of tea. For illustration, when eating Sichuan culinary art, which has a stronger spirit, visible radiation flavored teas are offered. On the other manus, when eating nutrients that are lightly flavored, stronger tea such as Tie Guan Yin is normally served. ( Tea, Food and Dining. 1 )

Drinking spirits may besides number as a particular nutrient civilization for China. Many celebrated repasts require vino as an of import flavorer, and whenever people gather for dining, spiritss are frequently provided. Chinese vino normally have a strong aroma. Peoples from southern country drink frequently to maintain themselves warm. Chinese people have been seeking to happen a manner to populate a long life. An emperor, Qin Shi Huang, even seek medical specialty that can allow him populate everlastingly. Chinese have their alone ways to hold a healthier life, and one of them is associated with their nutrient civilization. In a celebrated antediluvian article, Ben Tsao Jing, it listed most of the workss that have particular maps to handle illness and many of them have been used as nutrient ingredients. Chinese even have particular medicated dishes that include tea and spirits which can maintain you healthy utilizing beginnings from nature. Chinese believes that all nutrients have its particular authority. Some nutrients will impact your organic structure in some ways, and it can be neutralize by another type of nutrient. Tea is an illustration for this.


Over the old ages, Chinese nutrient has been germinating from the traditional family nutrient into a more fresh and originative nutrient but still retaining the traditional thoughts and spirit. Food continues taking a great portion for Chinese people ‘s life and is a symbol for Chinese civilization. Nowadays, Chinese people might be losing the old traditional values or had forgotten the significance of the festivals, but through eating Chinese culinary art, you can seek back the values and it can remind you of the festivals. Although many parts are isolated by natural barriers and hence developed alone culinary arts, they are all still sharing a characteristic in that they are made by Chinese people with all their Black Marias.

Word Count: 2529

In-text Citations

ChineseHomeCooking.Com. ( 2005 ) . The regional culinary arts of Chinese cookery ( Part 4 of 4 ) . Retrieved February 9, 2011, from ChineseHomeCooking.Com: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Chinese Chef Agency. ( 2007. ) Table Mannerss. ( p. 1,2 )

hypertext transfer protocol: //

Retrieved February 8, 2011

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