Historical Preparation and appreciation of food has been developed to the highest level in the country of China. Cooking is considered an art in Chinese culture whereas all other philosophies consider it a craft. The two main philosophies of the Chinese culture are Confucianism and Taoism. Both influenced China’s history and the Culinary Arts. Confucianism stressed the importance of enjoyment of life involving the art of cooking. If you have a gathering, there must be food. If there is not the gathering is considered incomplete and improper.
Confucius loved and respected the art of cooking. He established table etiquette and culinary standards. Most of which are still considered to be the standards of today. The cutting foods into small pieces during preparation and not at the table is exclusive to the Chinese culture. The use of knives at a Chinese dinner is considered “offensive. ” Taoism was responsible for establishing the hygienic parts of foods and cooking. The main part of this philosophy was for the nourishment of the body and the search for longevity.
(Long life) In comparison to Confucianists who were interested in the taste, texture and appearance, Taoists concentrated on the life-giving aspects of various foods The Chinese have investigated many plants, roots, fungi, herbs and seeds to discover life giving ingredients. They discovered that many items had medicinal value such as Ginger which is beneficial to sooth stomache aches. They also found out that by improper cooking the nutritional value could be destroyed. Unlike the majority of eastern cuisines most Chinese dishes are low-calorie and low-fat.
Food is cooked using poly-unsaturated oils, and milk, cream, butter and cheese are not a. part of the daily diet. Cultural Factors Our countries cuisine is deeply enriched with China’s history. If you visit a Chinese restaurant or a Chinese home you will see that culinary manners and etiquette are extremely important and a main factor of dining. When you sit down to eat, you must respect all sitting with you, whether they are elderly, children or disabled people. Chinese people stress the factor of presenting the best food first to the senior members of the table and has been done this way for many years.
Most Chinese hosts are pleasant and hospitable you must show them respect. Sometimes before beginning dinner, your host may say a few words of greeting. Make sure you do not start to eat until they have done so otherwise it is seen as rude. On Chopsticks Chopstick’s are a miracle among the creations of Chinese food culture. This utensil helps the dinner to really relish his or her food. Once you have mastered how to use chopsticks, they will help you to savour your food and really enjoy the flavour. An important part of a Chinese person’s life is their birthdays.
When a person is young, he or she is most likely to eat noodles before his birthday which indicate Longevity and Immortality. On a person’s wedding day, it is traditionary to serve Chinese dates, peanuts and chestnuts together which ensures that the couple will soon have a baby. For most Chinese people, upon returning home after a long trip is significant and sp there are also food customs associated with this. The person returning home is greeted with noodles and a person who is about to farewell family and friends is offered dumplings.
There are superstitions associated with chopsticks. Eg, If you find an uneven pair of Chopsticks at your table setting, it means you are going to miss a boat, plane or train. They believe that dropping chopsticks will also bring bad luck. Crossed chopsticks are, however, permissible in a certain restaurants. The waiter will cross them to show that your bill has been settled and you can do the same to show the waiter that you have finished you meal and are ready to pay the bill.
The reason Chinese people use chopsticks as their cutlery instead if a knife and a fork is because according to Confucius, a Knife and a Fork represent a style of violence, as they resemble cold weapons which is the complete opposite of Conuficius’ whole philosophy of gentleness and compassion. Geographical Located in Southeast Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, China is the world’s third largest country, after Russia and Canada, with an area of 9. 6 million square kilometres and a coastline of 18,000 kilometres.
Eight Regional Variations- Chinese cuisine has many different areas but the most public and well known by the Chinese population are named the “Eight Cuisines”. These are; Shangdong Cuisine, Sichuan Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine , Jiangsu Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine, and Anhui Cuisine. The main factors that form an area are very detailed, include history, cooking styles, climate, resources, geography and life styles. Sometimes cuisines from different regions are so differently distinctive even though the two areas are geographical neighbours! Religious.
Different Religions have different dietary needs according to their rules and geographical zones. Below is one of the main Religions that require special foods. Hui Cuisine- Muslim The Hui ethnic group contains the most Muslims. This influences the cuisine greatly and makes it the representative of the Chinese Muslim food. Their diet doesn’t involve pig meat or fierce animals and their blood. But the meats that are allowed and which have been prepared under the special way can be made into delicious dishes. Muslims are not allowed to smoke or drink wines, but encouraged to enjoy tea.
When Muslims have guests visiting, they would welcome them with tea together with fruits and fried cakes. The tea cup can include there sugar, white sugar, Chinese wolfberry, sesame, red Chinese date, longan, and raisins. All of which are rich in nutrition. There are four main characteristics of Hui Cuisine. Most of the main foods are made of flour instead of rice. Hui people like eating beef and mutton which are good for the appetite and are nourishing to the body. One of the typical meals for Hui People is roast mutton. Sociological aspects.
Food plays an extremely important part when it comes to a Chinese person’s social functions. As Confucius said something along the lines of, “People need to be happy and relaxed, and when they are with friends and eating, they will be happy”. So if your function is laden with foods for your guests it is very good and polite. If you have a gathering with friends and family and don’t prepare food for your guests to eat, it is considered extremely rude and inappropriate. Traditional foods or ingredients and any other related information When cooking, the Chinese use a lot of herbs and spices to enrich their foods.
The main foods that are eaten in China are; Rice, Noodles, Chicken, Dumplings, Sweet Corn, Vegetables, Wheat, Fish (Including crayfish etc), Pork (Although not for the Muslims), Beef, and BBQ Lamb. Chinese cooking makes use of quick stir fry at high temperature to seal in the flavor of the food and it also ensures that the food is not too unhealthy. Certain foods are Traditional to eat at certain times of the Year, for example, Chinese New Year which plays a very big part in Chinese culture and life.
Here are a list of foods commonly found being cooked and eaten at Chinese New Year; * Lotus seed – signify having many male offspring * Ginkgo nut – represents silver ingots * Black moss seaweed – is a homonym for exceeding in wealth * Dried bean curd is another homonym for fulfilment of wealth and happiness * Bamboo shoots – is a term which sounds like “wishing that everything would be well” * Fresh bean curd or tofu is not included as it is white and unlucky for New Year as the color signifies death and misfortune.
* Platters of fresh fruit (tangerines and oranges symbolize good luck and wealth) When cooking, Chinese people mainly use Woks, Steamers, and Boilers.
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