Confucius Philosophy in Chinese Food Culture
Chinese food culture has a long history and it dates back to 8,000 years ago with abundant varieties of foods. Chinese paid a lot of attention to the art of cooking, preparation and naming of its variety of dishes. It can be said that it is a country in which preparation and appreciation for foods matters a lot. Food plays an important part in the lives of the people and forms an integral part of their culture. Even the two two great philosophical ideas of their culture has a deep influence over Chinese food culture.
Confucianism philosophy strongly believes in the idea that food and friends are an inseparable part of life. . A life without food and friend is considered as an incomplete and improper life. His teachings regarding cooking methods and table etiquettes are still considered as an important part in Chinese food culture. He has a rich contribution in making Chinese food culture.
Confucian philosophy gives a lot of importance to the art of cooking and enjoyment of foods in life. He developed standards for dining and called cooking as an art. Some of his mannerisms like always serve food in small or chopped pieces, never keep knives on table as it shows disrespect towards your guests, maintaining complete silence during the time of meals etc. are still obeyed in China.
It is said that Confucius helped to bring perfect taste to Chinese food by developing proper cooking techniques. His basic idea behind cooking was that the taste of any dish depends on proper mixing of all of its ingredients and condiments. Taste of individual elements does not have a great importance in food but it is the fine blending that result to great taste in food. Blending of food also results to harmony and it is an important part because without harmony foods can not taste good. Ginger has acquired a favorite place in Confucius food culture as it helps to reduce the internal heat and fever of the body and it helps in digestion.
He had also given utmost importance to color and texture of food. If the food is not properly cooked and it does not get proper color then that food should not be consumed. He also emphasized in maintaining hygiene in foods and had defined criteria to taste hygienic quality of foods. To avoid overeating, he said to eat only at meal time. Confucius gives more priority to vegetables as compared to meats.
The Philosophy of Confucius is deeply reflected in Chinese food culture and forms a basic part of Chinese food culture.