The Differences between Chinese and Western Diet
Abstract: Along with economical development, the diets on people’s dining tables are so diversified that people have free choices. Chinese people are attracted by western diet, and the westerners get fascinated in the Chinese diet too. However, due to the different diet cultures, China and western countries have their own distinct diet cultures respectively, including different diet ideas, diet objects, diet ways, and table manners, etc. Analyzing the differences between Chinese diet cultures and western diet cultures, we can also find the promoting influences on Chinese cultures, and overcome the barriers in cross-cultural communications and avoid unnecessary awkwardness.
Key words: Chinese diet culture; western diet culture; differences; cultural roots Because of geographical features, climate environment, customs, there are differences exit in the raw materials, taste, cooking method and eating habits of different food. As a result of these differences, food products have strong regional features. They embody the different cultures between China and the west countries, that is, different means of thinking. Chinese people pay attention to the “the integration of nature and human”, while the westerners focus on
From the following three aspects, I will briefly talk about the cultural differences between Chinese and Western diet.
First, there are two different diet ideas. Contrast to the Chinese people’s favor-oriented idea,
western people has a rational diet idea. No matter what the color, fragrance, taste of the food, nutrition must be guaranteed, paying attention to how many calories, vitamin and protein one needs to absorb in one day. Even if the food won’t taste so delicious, nutrition must be put at the
most important position. This diet idea is in accordance to the philosophy system of western countries. This philosophy brings a fresh air to the western culture and make natural science, psychology and methodology could have a boundless leap. On the other hand, this kind of philosophy also stunts the development of the diet culture. In the banquet, people need to pay attention to exquisite tableware, materials, service. Whereas, no matter how luxurious the high-grade is, from Los Angeles to New York, steak only has the one taste, without any art of diet at all. As dishes, chicken is chicken, beef steak is beef steak, in spite of various collocations, and they are also cooked in pan.
There is a saying that "Food is eating well-deserved for human life”. Therefore, different
geographical environment has kinds of diet habits.
The different diet structures between the Chinese and the west: staple food in China is corn and its products, such as, pasta. Vegetable is the main non-staple food and sometimes having meat. But westerners' staple food is meat and dairy. So, according to this diet difference, someone call Chinese as "plant disposition", westerners called "animal character". One of the differences is that westerners don't eat animal innards, don't eat animals with skin, the head and tail. However, in Chinese thought, this behavior is hard to comprehensive. Because they believe these foods are
very delicious and nutritive.
The differences between Chinese and western cooking style: Chinese style includes, steaming, boiling, stewed, heating, blasting frying, baking, decocting, frying, mixing food, etc . Different cooks have different cooking style, however, due to the cook's mood, time and occasions, the same kind dish has different taste. Nevertheless, the western cooking focuses on exquisite specifications, the whole process is strictly according to the scientific standard act.
The differences between Chinese and western dining way: In China, no matter when you join a banquet, everyone sits around a table having dishes offered on one table. People mainly use chopsticks, spoon, eating with a bowl in hand. They often toast and offer others food actively for each other, by which they think can embody their respect to a person. While in the west buffet is very pop, there is a lot of food display, everyone takes what you like to eat optionally and walking free.
A master provides only beverage, wine and some simple foods, such as cheese, French fries, sandwiches, does not provide a meal. This way conveys the respect for individuals.
The differences between Chinese and western dining etiquette: In China, the arrangement for the sitting row is to consider the elders firstly. This can express respect for the elders. However, women are first considered to be arranged to have seats in the west.
Every diet habit is fit to the local living conditions and also owns its own distinguishing features. Knowing it and enjoying it.