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Chinese cuisine

By Don Martinez,2014-07-01 01:05
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Chinese cuisine

    Chinese cuisine (Chinese: 中國菜) originated from different regions

    of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world

    from East Asia to North America, Australasia and Western Europe. Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to the different styles of food. There are eight main regional cuisines, and they are: Anhui (Hui ), Cantonese (Yue ),

    Fujian (Min ), Hunan (Xiang ), Jiangsu (Su or Yang ),

    Shandong (Lu ), Szechuan (Chuan ), Zhejiang (Zhe ).

    Chinese cuisine (Traditional Chinese: 中國菜, Simplified Chinese:

    中国菜) originated from the various regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world from Asia to the

    Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. In recent years, connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine have also sprouted in Eastern Europe and South Asia.

    Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to the different styles of food. There are eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions (八大菜系):

    Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. Among them, Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, and Huaiyang cuisine (a major style and even viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine) are often considered as the standouts of Chinese cuisine

and due to their influence are proclaimed as the Four Great Traditions (

    大菜系). Occasionally, Beijing cuisine and Shanghai cuisine are also cited along with the aforementioned eight regional styles as the Ten Great Traditions (十大菜系). There are also featured Buddhist and Muslim

    sub-cuisines within the greater Chinese cuisine, with an emphasis on vegetarian and halal-based diets respectively.

    Chinese Cuisine

    The vastness of China's geography and history echoes through the polyphony of Chinese cuisine. To begin, it is best to divide Chinese cuisine, with all the appropriate disclaimers and caveats, into that of four major regions: the northern plains, including Beijing; the fertile east, watered by the Yangtse River; the south, famous for the Cantonese cooking of the Guangdong Province; and the fecund west of Szechwan and Hunan Provinces.

    Canton is, perhaps, the most famous of the food areas. Long, warm, wet days throughout the year create the perfect environment for cultivating most everything. The coast provides ample seafood, the groves are filled with fruits. Cooking methods and recipes here are sophisticated and varied. Since the local produce is so gorgeous, the cooking highlights its freshness, relying less on loud sauces and deep-frying.

    To the mountainous west, in Szechwan and Hunan provinces, steamy heat and spicy foods fill the restaurants. Rice grows abundantly, as do citrus fruits, bamboo, and mushrooms. The spiciness of the food tells of locally grown chiles and the inclinations of the local palate, though some say the spices are used to mask the taste of foods that rot quickly in the heat.

    To the east of Hunan lies "the land of fish and rice." Like the west in latitude, it has the added bonus of lowlands for rice cultivation and a rich ocean's edge for fish.

    The northern region of China reaches into the hostile climate of Mongolia -- land of the Gobi Desert and Arctic winter winds. Mongolian influence appears in the prevalence of mutton and lamb -- many in the region are Muslim, so pork is forbidden -- and in the nomadic simplicity of the Mongolian fire pot. The north is not amenable to rice cultivation so, wheat, barley, millet and soybeans are the staples; breads and noodles anchor the meal. The vegetables and fruits -- cabbage, squash, pears, grapes, and apples -- are like those grown in North America. Beijing is the pearl of the region; royal haute cuisine was born and bred inside her walls. However, the centuries and the accumulated wisdom of China's best chefs have conspired to make imperial cuisine an incredible achievement that belongs to all of China.

    Once the meal is cooked, it is served all at once to the family, who eat with chopsticks and drink soup with a wide spoon. The average dinner includes a starch -- rice, noodles, bread, or pancakes -- a meat dish, vegetable, and soup, which serves as a beverage. For formal meals and banquets, there are many successive courses which are served in a strict traditional order.

    Guangdong Cuisine

    When people mentioned Guangdong Cuisine, they can always associate it with the traditional dishes such as sweet and sour Gulao meat, Gravy pork with preserved potherb mustard, Roast Piglet with Crisp Skin. Guangdong cuisine has been heavily influenced by western cooking cultures, which is unique among the Chinese cuisines. Its raw materials, cooking methods, and flavorings all differ from the other cuisines.

    Guangdong cuisine has absorbed the cooking skills of the West as well as that of other Chinese regions, to develop its own unique methods. Guangdong chefs also pay much attention to the artistic presentation of their dishes. So Guangdong cuisine became more and more popular nowadays.

    Our experts will explain the training courses step by step from configuration of the kitchen to various kinds of cooking skills. Seafood process, bench work, dish garnishing, stove operation, all delails are introduced exactly in conformity with Guangdong Cuisine kitchen. Skills

    of cooking material preparation, food decaration, Sauce and jam making, steaming work, base-soup and other local snack making, are also park of our training courses. Our master chefs will show you the original methods of cooking pork, poultry, freshwater food, seafood and seasonal vegetables. At the same time, we can also teach you how to manage the kitchen well .You will receive the common menu as a present

    Guangdong Cuisine(Cantonese Cuisine)

    Cantonese food originates from Guangdong, the southernmost province in China. The majority of overseas Chinese people are from Guangdong (Canton) so Cantonese is perhaps the most widely available Chinese regional cuisine outside of China.

    Cantonese are known to have an adventurous palate, able to eat many different kinds of meats and vegetables. In fact, people in Northern China often say that Cantonese people will eat anything that flies except airplanes, anything that moves on the ground except trains, and anything that moves in the water except boats. This statement is far from the truth, but Cantonese food is easily one of the most diverse and richest cuisines in China. Many vegetables originate from other parts of the world. It doesn't use much spice, bringing out the natural flavor of the vegetables and meats.

    Tasting clear, light, crisp and fresh, Guangdong cuisine, familiar to Westerners, usually chooses raptors and beasts to produce originative

    dishes. Its basic cooking techniques include roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming. Among them steaming and stir-frying are more commonly applied to preserve the natural flavor. Guangdong chefs also pay much attention to the artistic presentation of dishes.

    The Characteristics of Chinese Cuisine Naming

    Food varies from place to place, and from nation to nation. Therefore, there is a regional difference in cuisine naming. This essay is confined to the naming of the Chinese cuisine found in Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, it harbors people from every

    corner of the country, and restaurants with every cooking style and cuisine system in China. The naming of Chinese cuisine has its primary motivations and secondary motivation.

    The Four Categories of Chinese Cuisine

    Chinese cuisine can be geographically divided into four categories: Guangdong cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Sichuan cuisine according to the book of Chinese Cuisine Culture.

    Guangdong cuisine consists mainly of Guangzhou cuisine, Chaozhou cuisine and Dongjiang cuisine along the Pearl River. As a representative of Lingnan cooking culture, Guangdong cuisine is one of the major families of Chinese cuisine. Therefore, "eating in Guangzhou" has become widely well known. Guangdong cuisine is a typical

    combination of ingredients and techniques from Japan, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Europe, etc.

    Shandong cuisine is divided into Jinan, Jiaodong and Confucian Mansion different three styles and flavors around the Yellow River. Of which, Confucian Mansion is cooked with great care by the mansion's master cooks in keeping with the instruction of Confucius. As a result, the dishes are both characteristic of a learnt and sagacious family and typical of a lordly mansion.

    Jiangsu cuisine, along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, consists of the styles of Huaiyin-yangzhou, Suzhou-Wuxi, Nanjing and Xuzhou-Taizhou, of which, Yangzhou is a famous cultural city with a history of nearly two thousand five hundred years and has been a place of men of letters since ancient times. The eating habits of men of letters influenced and enriched Jiangsu cuisine culture.

    Sichuan cuisine is produced on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and has a great impact on the culinary culture in southwest China.

    Chinese Cuisine PK Western Food

    Chinese diet is quite different from Western diet. While Western

    diet focus only on weight loss, Chinese diet includes foods which treat

    and bring the body into balance, thus improving functions of organs and

    health to achieve weight loss. Another difference between these diets is

    that in western diet foods are considered for their protein, calorie, carbohydrate, vitamin and other nutrient content but in Chinese diet,

    foods are considered according to their energy, flavours and their

    actions on organs of the body.

The flavour of foods

    Chinese classify the different flavours in 5 categories : pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Each of these flavours have a specific action on the organs of the body and they have been used during many centuries to balance and treat the body. Some foods may have more than one flavour. It may not be easy to determine flavours of food but with their long experience, Chinese have established a list and some of the foods found in the different categories are listed below.

Pungent foods

    Pungent foods can induce perspiration and promote energy circulation and act on the lungs and large intestine.

    Examples : ginger, onion, peppermint, asparagus, garlic, watercress, mustard, soybean oil, turnip, pepper, wine.

    Sweet foods

    Sweet foods have a soothing and moisturizing efect and act on the stomach and spleen.

    Examples : apricot, lamb, pineapple, oat, beetroot, wheat, beef, nuts, carrots, celery, mushroom, cabbage, cucumber, courgette, spinach, dates, mung beans, red beans, milk, lettuce, corn, malt, honey, oranges, barley, grapefruit, peach, pear, sweet potato, pork, chicken, grapes, rice, sugar, tomato, wine, watermelon, butter.

    Sour foods

    Sour foods can obstruct the movements and are uesd in cases of diarrhea and excessive perspiration.

    Examples : apricot, pineapple, lemon, cheese, green vegetables, letchis, mango, olive, grapefruit, peach, pear, apple, prunes, grapes, tomato, vinegar.

    Bitter foods

    Bitter foods can reduce body heat, dry body fluids and induce diarrhea and act on the heart and small intestine.

    Examples : bitter gourd, grapefruit, lettuce, asparagus, beer, broccoli, coffee, celery, watercress, turnip, tea, vinegar.

    Salty foods

    Salty foods can soften hardness and act on the kidneys and bladder. Examples : seaweed, kelp, duck, crab, ham, oyster, mussels, barley, pork.

    In the West, too much sweet food is one of the causes of weight gain due to the high calorie content. However, for the Chinese, while sweet foods are good for stomach and spleen and help for digestion, too much may weaken these two organs of the digestive system. And also since sweet foods have a lubricating action, they tend to produce fluid and therefore favours weight gain.

    The sweet foods mentioned here are different and has nothing to do with foods like chocolate and sweet cakes. They have been classified as sweet foods according to the action they perform on the body.

    History of Chinese Cuisine

    The Chinese culinary culture has a distant source and has been developed for many centuries. The legend has it that the Chinese cooking culture originated with Yi Yin, a virtuous and capable minister of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 15th to 11th century B.C.). It can be seen that China initiated the culinary art as early as the Shang and Zhou (ca. 11th century to 221 B.C.) times. With the economic growth through various periods, people have been always exploring new cooking techniques ----from brevity to variety, from rudimentary to advanced stage, from day-to-day snacks to feasts, even to palatial dishes and delicacies. During the period from the Spring and Autumn Period(ca. 770-476 B.C.)

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