Chinese Food Culture
As in many cultures, food is central to life in China. The History, vast territory and extensive contact of China with other nations and culture have give birth to a distinctive cooking art. There are more than 56 folk inside Mainland China having its own food habits. It suggests the idea that, it is difficult to brief the Chinese food culture in a single message. To accumulate the ideas briefly let us talk about their general food habits, characteristics, and manners and their occasional foods served on different occasions.
In General, Chinese cuisine can be divided into two distinct styles, the Northern and the Southern. Northern cuisine is characterized by its extensive use of oil; the southern foods make abundant use of vinegar and garlic. Their way of eating eating is characterized by a notable flexibility and adaptability. The five flavors of spicy, sweet, bitter, sour and salty has been used in Chinese cooking. They give a lot of importance on taste, color and fragrance. They are also very particular about cutting style and cooking temperature. Most of the foods are prepared by stir-frying, shallow frying, deep fry, stewing; steaming etc.The Chinese consumes a large amount of tea for it is considered vital to the body.
The courtesy of the table manners displayed add to the enjoyment of meals. The Chinese usually eat together in a round table. Hospitality is shown when the host serve some dishes with his/her own chopstick. They practice the art of presenting the best food to the senior member of the family has been observed for countless generations. The chopstick is a miracle creation of Chinese food culture. The Way one handles a chopstick reflects the familiarity with the Chinese food manners. A chopstick is not supposed to stick upright in the rice bowl for it suggest impolite to the host and seniors present.
The food culture is associated with different occasions having different meanings.
In China food carries a symbolic meaning. Different foods are given on different occasion. Long noodles are served to youngsters and seniors to symbolize longevity and healthy life .The red boiled egg shows the announcement for the birth of a baby. the number varies accordingly to the gender .An even number of red boiled egg with black point dotted on one end will be delivered for a boy and odd number without black point for a girl. Fish is generally served in the New Year eve to symbolize prosperity and health. The return after a long absence is greeted with noodles and a farewell is offered with dumplings. The high temperature in the dish symbolizes the warmth of tender feeling with people sitting around.
The Chinese cuisine has become increasingly popular among the lovers of food worldwide. More than a third of the world's populations eat Chinese food. It is acknowledged as one of the greatest and original cuisines of the world. The food is greatly enjoyed in each and every metropolitan throughout the world.