29 November 2012
Comparison of Chinese and Western Food Culture
Food is closely related to people's lives and it is considered the most important element in Chinese culture. Chinese food is famous all over the world too. American Chinese cuisine differs significantly from the traditional Chinese cuisine and even though the variation in taste can be so it is still attractive to many people. When it comes to food, Chinese people always care about the color, taste, smell and shape of Chinese dishes. In 1784, a group of passengers on the ship Empress of China became the first Americans to land in China and they were also the first group of people to eat Chinese food; it was the first time the American palate encountered eastern cuisine(Coe 45). There are many differences in food culture between China and the United States. Strong differences exist regarding cooking methods, ingredients, desserts and cutlery. There are many cooking methods in Chinese food and it may be confusing by terms such as sauté, marinade, stir-fry and deep-fry especially for someone new to Chinese food (Travel China Guide). Boiling is the most common form of Chinese cooking; Chinese boiling means cooking food in boiling water. It wastes fuel. It does not cook the food any faster and it tends to make the food break up and so spoils the appearance. Frying is divided into deep-frying, slippery-frying, quick-frying, and several types of stir-frying; this method mainly deals with vegetables. One cooking method that American dishes seldom use is steaming. It is a kind of slow process and time consuming. Chinese cooking uses two methods of steaming, which are basic steaming(zheng) and placing one tightly-closed pot inside a larger pot(steaming dun) (Lee 3). The product is usually very soft because the pot is half-immersed in boiling water for two to three hours. One of the famous traditional Chinese foods is Chinese rice dumplings and it...