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A brief introduction of Chinese food

Chinese cooking is one of the greatest methods of cooking. Since ancient time, many factors that have influenced its development. Confucius once said: "Eating is the utmost important thing in life." Cooking Chinese food requires more time and effort, and is considered a very sophisticated art. As a result, many travelers who have visited China consider Chinese cuisines one of the best.

 

A meal in Chinese culture is typically seen as consisting of two general components:

main food - a carbohydrate source or starch, typically rice (predominant in southern parts of China),noodles, or buns (predominant in northern parts of China), and
accompanying dishes - of vegetables, fish, meat, or other items.

This cultural conceptualization is in some ways in contrast to Western meals where meat or animal protein is often considered the main dish. Chopsticks are the primary eating utensil in Chinese culture for solid foods, while spoons are used for drinking soups. Food is usually prepared in bite-sized pieces (except fish, crabs and so on), ready for direct picking up and eating. Traditionally, Chinese culture considered using knives and forks at the table "barbaric" due to fact that these implements are regarded as weapons. It was also considered ungracious have guests work at cutting their own food.

Chinese food styles

As China is a geographically huge country, it is diverse in climate, ethnicity and subcultures. Not surprisingly therefore, there are many distinctive styles of cuisine. Traditionally there are eight main families of dishes, namely

* Hui (Anhui)
* Yue (Cantonese)
* Min (Fujian)
* Xiang (Hunan)
* Yang (Jiangsu)
* Lu (Shandong)
* Chuan (Szechuan)
* Zhe (Zhejiang)

Today there are mainly four main styles of food in China, namely the Beijing Style, the Shanghai Style, the Sichuan/Szechuan Style and the Cantonese Style. The Cantonese style is the most popular style in overseas restaurants. When you are traveling in China, you would find it extremely hard to resist the Peking duck, the Shanghai pork bun, or the Cantonese dim sum.

This section will introduce you to some of the finest chinese cuisines, and provide you with some Chinese food receipts. If you are traveling in China, don't forget to try out some of the dishes introduced here!