Chinese Cuisine

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CHINESE CUISINE

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...
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