China food culture
Posted on Jul 04, 2012 SINA.com
China cuisine culture also called Chinese food culture is an important part of China culture in the aspect of cooking and leisure. Chinese cuisine culture goes sophisticated as the history of China goes.
China food also has a worldwide reputation due to its long-term spread from China to the other regions of the world. The famous China towns in different countries is firstly known by their special service of Chinese food.
Currently, Chinese food is easily found in every corner of the world, and it has become an impressive and influential symbol of Chinese culture.
Main Styles of China Cuisine
Chinese food, in general, is healthy and nutritious. Chinese people often have soy-bean milk(豆浆), deep-fried dough sticks(You Tiao, 油条), steamed buns(Man Tou, 馒头) or congee(粥) as breakfast.
Food varies within China. Traditionally there are eight main streams of Chinese cuisines, which are known as Anhui Cuisine(徽菜), Canton Cuisine(粤菜), Fujian Cuisine(闽菜), Hunan Cuisine(湘菜), Jiangsu Cuisine(苏菜), Shandong Cuisine(鲁菜), Sichuan Cuisine(川菜) and Zhejiang Cuisine(浙菜).
Below are four main cuisine categories:
Buns and shrimp dumplings
Cantonese food is the most popular style outside China. Cantonese cuisine originates from the region around Canton (Guangzhou) in southern China's Guangdong province.
One Cantonese saying goes that anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies is edible. Another says that the only four-legged things that Cantonese people won't eat are tables and chairs. Cantonese cuisine includes almost all edible food in addition to the staples of pork, beef and chicken, such as snakes, snails, insects, worms, chicken feet, duck tongues, and entrails. As a trading post, Canton (Guangzhou) had access to a large range of imported food, which resulted in the huge variety of Cantonese dish we can enjoy today.
Canton (Guangzhou) is the provincial capital of Guangdong in southern China, bordering Hong Kong and Macao, the Cantonese cuisine is actually a great combination of north and south. Originated from northern China, wonton noodle is a dish of small dumplings that shrimp and pork with vegetable wrapped in thin flour skin, and then cooked in soup with noodles.
Beijing has been the nation's capital in many dynasties and the center of politics, economy and culture, so Beijing Cuisine traditionally represents the flavor of the ancient imperial court.
Muslim cuisine is quite popular in Beijing, its main ingredients are beef and mutton. The famous "Lamb Feast" uses almost all parts on a lamb that can make about a hundred kinds of recipes. Roast and stew mutton are the delicious Muslim dishes in Beijing as well. Imperial recipes of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are having great importance in Beijing cuisine, the notable dishes are fried fish pieces and yellow fish with dried meat pieces. Peking roast duck is loved by gourmets at home and abroad. The dish is prepared by crispy fat duck and chufa and served with steamed buns. Local family style noodle dishes are excellent also, because noodles are more popular than rice in Beijing.
A meal of Su cuisine
Jiangsu Cuisine, called Su Cuisine for short, originates from the native cooking styles of South China's Jiangsu Province. It has a fresh taste, with moderate saltiness and sweetness, which is thick without being greasy, and light without being thin. Meanwhile it places an emphasis on the making of soup and retaining the original taste of the ingredients. Once it was the second largest cuisine among ancient China's royal cuisines, and it remains a major part of the state banquet in China.
Su Cuisine is composed of six styles: Nanjing Style, Yangzhou Style, Suzhou Style, Huai'an Cuisine, Xuzhou Cuisine and Haizhou Cuisine. Among them Nanjing Style, Suzhou Style and Yangzhou Style are the most notable.
Sichuan cuisine has a long history and it is very famous throughout the world. The cuisine was originated in ancient Ba and Shu states, and then widely developed during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Sichuan style includes the tastes of Chengdu, Chongqing and some other places in the province. The typical characteristics of the style are hot, spicy and sour, thus the tastes of dishes are very strong.
The strong chili taste is to stimulate the taste buds and appetite in hot and humid weather during summer, as well as to make people feel warmer during miserable winter in Sichuan Province. Well known Sichuan recipes are Sichuan beef and re-cooked pork, which is a dish of pork, cooked in boiled water, and then stir-fried in a very hot pan with cooking oil and put sauces on it finally. Cold noodles mixed with peanut sauce is a favorite snack in Chengdu and Chongqing, it can be served either spicy or not. Ma-Po bean curd is very mouth-watering that is commonly eaten with rice. It is mainly made of fine bean curd cut to small pieces and cooked with slices of pork and peppers and chilies. The taste of the dishes, of course, is very hot.
Apart from these four categories, there are some specialties in the northwest, e.g. the kebab and beef noodles in Gansu Province, dumpling banquet and rou jia mo (a kind of Chinese style sandwich that looks like a hamburger) in Xi'an and Xinjiang's lamb grill.