Tuesday, September 22, 2009

China: Food

The Chinese meals take a lot of preparation which is often why travelers refer to Chinese food as some of the best food they had while traveling.

A typical meal consists of two general components:
The main food which is a type of starch including rice, noodles or buns (depending on which part of China you live in) and accompanying dishes such as a vegetable, fish or meat.

If you were not already aware, the Chinese culture eats with chopsticks as opposed to forks and knives. Spoons are used to eat soup and chop sticks are used to eat solid food. Traditionally, Chinese culture considered using knives and forks at the table barbaric because these utensils are regarded as weapons. It was also considered ungracious to have guests working to cut their own food. This is another reason why the preparation of Chinese food is extensive and why travelers regard the food as being some of the best when traveling; it is prepared ready to eat, literally!

Traditionally there are eight main families of dishes:
* Hui (Anhui)
* Yue (Cantonese)
* Min (Fujian)
* Xiang (Hunan)
* Yang (Jiangsu)
* Lu (Shandong)
* Chuan (Szechuan)
* Zhe (Zhejiang)
Today there are primarily four main styles of food in China, namely the Beijing Style, the Shanghai Style, the Sichuan/Szechuan Style and the Cantonese Style.

The Chinese have long been famous for their tea—if you're a tea drinker, you won't be disappointed.

Also, don't expect to see fortune cookies at the end of your meal; they don't exist in China because they are uniquely American.

Have a look at this video below of some Americans trying out some adventurous foods during their trip to Beijing.

What is the most unusual Chinese dish you have ever had?

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