The History of Chinese Cuisine

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The History of Chinese Culture and Cuisine

Thesis: Chinese cuisine has been around for thousands of years. I believe Chinese cuisine has influenced our country immensely.

Outline

I.Introduction
A. Chinese Cuisine
1. Where did it originate
2. Traditional Staples
B. Chinese Culture
1. Beliefs
A) Chinese New Year
B) Kitchen God
C. Chinese Tea Culture
II.Chinese Cuisine
A. Basic Meats
1. Chicken
2. Beef
3. Pork
B. Basic Seasonings
III.Cooking Methods
A. Stir-Frying
B. Chopstick History
V.Conclusion
A. Chinese cuisine today

Cheyenne Wagner
14234 SE 62nd Ct.
Summerfield, Florida 34491
March 3, 2011
Ward Period 2
Word Count: 1713

The History of Chinese Culture and Cuisine

Chinese cuisine originated over five thousand years ago, and has stayed with our country ever since. The culinary traditions of China have been devised and perfected over a long period of time, and carried from place to place. There is an old Chinese saying, “Food is the first necessity of the people.” ("History of Chinese Cuisine" NP). Since food is so important to the Chinese, shopping for food to cook as well as eat is often a daily task on the streets of China. Fruits, vegetables, and sometimes meats are sold by vendors in markets on the streets. If a recipe needed a certain vegetable it was easy to just walk down to your local market and find what you needed. Since the Chinese grow all of their own vegetables, they often grow what is easy to grow in their geographic area. They couldn’t always go to the street vendors to get meats though; they would find wild animals and kill them to cook over a fire. Cooking food was often an issue also, because China didn’t have big forests; fuel to cook with was often difficult to find. (Regan 32.) In wheat farming areas of northern China, they often make their own bread, noodles, dumplings, and steamed bread. According to Chinese tradition, Noodles are symbolic of long life and good health. In southern china rice is the main source of food, because they have many rice farming areas. They use rice for many things besides just as a side dish or a main dish. Rice was used for producing beer, producing wine, and producing vinegar. (Regan 32.)

The Chinese used many different meats and seasonings to cook with. The most popular meats were beef, pork, and chicken. Though they still hunted mandarin duck, geese, sheep and camel. Turtles and fish were often captured from lakes and then cooked over a fire. They also hunted game such as owl, pheasant, magpie, sika deer, and Chinese bamboo partridge. ("Burckhardt 17".) Common seasonings the Chinese enjoyed using in their kitchens include: white sugar, honey, salt, vinegar, cooking wine, cinnamon, chili sauce, pepper powder, fennel seeds, and soy sauce. The Chinese view food as an art form. Every taste should accompany every texture, and every aroma should please the senses. The Chinese believed that every seasoning should accompany every taste, and every taste should accompany the color and texture of the dish that is being prepared. ("All about Chinese Cuisine.")

Since the Chinese have many different dishes to cook, they use specific methods to cook each different dish. Stir-frying is a very popular way of cooking in a Chinese kitchen. When you stir-fry something, you cook the food in a wok over a high heat, with just enough oil to cover the food. Usually vegetables and meat are cut into small pieces to place into the wok. (Jones 91.) If different ingredients take different time to cook, they must be put into the work at the appropriate times. The oil is added when the wok is hot enough that the edges are smoking. After adding the oil to the wok and letting it heat up to the right temperature, you can then add the vegetables and pieces of meat. While the food is cooking you use a Chinese spatula and toss the food around so it cooks evenly, and prepare hot tea to go with your meal. Another reason to cut...
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