A mad passion or love reasoned? Chinese and Chinese food ,just a little observation and some knowledge of Chinese cuisine to try to answer this question.
There are thousands of years, Confucius said that the food was the “first need people.” Whether out of respect for this great philosopher or coincidentally, Chinese food deal not only with respect but also with passion.
In Chinese, there is no word to express something like “take a small bite,” and the traditional greeting “Chi fan ma? “Literally means” Have you eaten? “. Necessity has forced the Chinese to eat almost anything that grows on earth, shifting it or that flies in the sky. But people have turned this necessity under, and nowadays, Chinese cuisine boasts the greatest variety of dishes in the world (around 5000). These dishes can be divided into different styles and sub-categories by geography, nationality or social group that invented, adapted or exclusively consumed a dish or another – and there are family meals, officials, imperial or medicinal.
There are also cold, hot or sweet dishes and soups which are divided into different types depending on the cooking. Every Chinese dish can not be separated from the history of its origin: it has absorbed influences from the geography, climate, natural resources, local customs, as well as social and cultural factors.
What you will learn
A rich symbolism about Chinese and Chinese food
In China, eating means much more than just fill a stomach; the food is always full of significance and meaning. This is easily observed during the celebrations of the Spring Festival. Each dish on the table was its interpretation: oranges to wish luck and good incomes; fish wealth; chicken, still lucky; chestnuts, higher incomes; and soy cheese, hoping to get rich. The newlyweds eat sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour hoping to make their marriage a sweet and harmonious experience; on their wedding bed, they find nuts, dates, sweets and oranges left by their parents – the wish of the latter that the newlyweds give birth to a son as soon as possible. When a baby a month, his mother will be offered boiled eggs dyed red. This means that it is now “clean” and can go pray in a temple.
The most important thing
An ancient Chinese proverb says: “For a man, the food is the most important thing.” That’s why people treat each meal with seriousness and respect. The Chinese eat three times a day, and the restaurant, they order dishes with the utmost seriousness. Each person at the table will be asked their preferences and what dishes she would like to try. Chinese friends or colleagues will be very surprised if you remain indifferent to the fact of ordering your meal.
For the Chinese, the food is not just about the stomach, it is a great pleasure, so they never eat in a hurry and try to taste as many different dishes as possible. During festive occasions, there are dozens of dishes on a table, as it was once put. Today, many people still hold the ritual experienced meals: first the “eight cold snacks” including traditional cold chicken, beans, boiled eggs cooked in lime, shrimp and various vegetables.
Then came the hot, and again, there must be eight. Often the last hot dish is a whole fish – a wish of luck and abundance. Rice is served during the meal or among the last dishes. Contrary to the European tradition, the soup is served at the end of the meal, because the Chinese think it is better for digestion, and I must say they are absolutely right. Then comes the variety of sweet dishes and fruit. When fruits are served, it means that the meal is over.
A meal in Chinese
A meal in Chinese means that the dishes are not served individually but for all the guests, and anyone can put anything he likes in his flat or even that of a neighbor. At one table, all are equal, because the Chinese prefer round tables with a turntable, so that everyone can easily reach any dish of their choice.
The table manners mean that each guest may make a feast of alcohol in the glass of a neighbor, and raise his glass to someone. In China, people like toast and drink their alcohol to the last drop saying “Gan Bei! Gan Bei! “(Bottoms up). Very often you can see people completely return their glass, a way to demonstrate their boldness and honesty to drink. Hitting the glasses is widely accepted in China, and if at a table, people are too far apart to clink their glasses, they can hit their glass against the glass surface of the hub at the center of the table.
The East and West do they meet at the table?
In many countries, people go to restaurants not only to eat but also to spend time together, chatting and sometimes dance. In China, it’s different. People go to a restaurant for one purpose: to eat. Everything is subordinated to this goal, which is why very often inside restaurants is very simple, even Spartan. The opening hours of restaurants are also determined by the consumption of food, so it is not always easy to find a restaurant open after 22 pm, because most Chinese have already eaten.
But there’s one thing you can be certain: even if a restaurant is like a snack, the food is usually good. The easiest is to try to see if the restaurant is crowded manner. A full restaurant capacity means sure to be a great leader. In this country, a “good restaurant” does not mean a hushed interior, beautiful decor and not even a great service, but first the excellent food, because it is the first and only reason why people go to this restaurant and coming back.