crypticsymbol.com guide to Chinese food books

Learn how to cook Chinese food yourself! (cookbooks from other cuisines):

More Chinese food books


Chinese food

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 (四大菜系). 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.

In a Chinese meal, each individual diner is given his or her own bowl of rice while the accompanying dishes are served in communal plates (or bowls) that are shared by everyone sitting at the table. In the Chinese meal, each diner picks food out of the communal plates on a bite-by-bite basis with their chopsticks. This is in contrast to western meals where it is customary to dole out individual servings of the dishes at the beginning of the meal. Many non-Chinese are uncomfortable with allowing a person's individual utensils (which might have traces of saliva) to touch the communal plates; for this hygienic reason, additional serving spoons or chopsticks ("公筷", lit. common/public/shared chopsticks) may be made available. However, traditionally each family member would only take from a certain portion of the dish (the part that is in front of the person), thus dividing the plate implicitly. In cities with increased Western influence, such as Hong Kong, diners are provided individually with a heavy metal spoon for this purpose. The food selected is often eaten together with some rice either in one bite or in alternation.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chinese cuisine".