China has one of the richest cuisines on the planet. Solid Chinese food is tasted with Chinese chopsticks (k’uai-tzu in china, chopsticks in Japan) and liquids with a wide, flat spoon (usually ceramic). The Chinese considers having a knife on the table very wild. Therefore, most dishes are prepared in small pieces, ready to be chosen and eaten. Chinese food is different Western food meat protein is the main dish of a meal. A source of carbohydrates (such as rice or noodles) is usually the main ingredient in Chinese food. Because of the extensive and varied nature of China, Chinese cuisine can be divided into many regional styles.
The variety of ingredients and cooking methods make Chinese cuisine one of the richest in the world. More than 10,000 dishes, about 20 different regional cuisines. In a huge country, with great climatic and landscape differences, hundreds of millions of people live, there is a wide variety of dishes, depending on an infinite range of products.
Chinese cuisine was born with the first peoples who inhabited the region, more than 4,000 years ago, and has lost little of its characteristics. It came to influence more than to be influenced. It is at the origin, for example, of Japanese cuisine and of many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Vietnam.
Chinese cooks were able to take advantage of inventiveness and versatility. They developed such subtle techniques for preparing and cooking food that transformed their kitchen into one of the most refined in the world. It took millennia of dedication that resulted in dishes such as Peking duck, a masterpiece of culinary art. It is characteristic of Chinese cuisine to maintain and combine the flavor of the ingredients. Different ways of cutting are also common in Chinese cuisine: cutting food into small pieces, for example, facilitates the use of traditional toothpicks.
Tea Culture in China
The culture of Chinese tea refers to the methods of making tea, the equipment used to make tea and the occasions when tea is consumed in China.
Tea has been a popular drink since ancient times in China. It was considered one of the seven daily necessities, the others being firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. The culture of tea in China differs that of Europe, the United Kingdom or Japan in such things as preparation methods, tasting methods and on the occasions when it is consumed. To this day, tea is regularly drunk on both casual and formal Chinese occasions. In addition to drinking, Chinese tea is also used in herbal medicines and in Chinese cuisine. Chinese tea is used mainly in healing rituals or in meetings.
Cooking and Cooking Techniques
China, like Brazil, due to its territorial gigantism and cultural diversity - in the case of China, due to centuries of invasions of its current territory and contact with various peoples both to the north: Hun and Mongol, to the east: Japan, and to west: Hindus and Muslims -, it features at least four different culinary regions: Beijing cuisine in the north, Szechuan cuisine in the middle of the mountains, Canton cuisine in the south and Schanghai cuisine. Although the regions present different cuisines, the way of cooking and preparation follow the same pattern.
Frying is abundant among Chinese cuisine, such as:
• Vegetable Frying: a casserole or a deep, round frying pan is normally used, frying vegetables cut into strips or small cubes, with little oil. It should always be stirred because cooking is very fast;
• Superficial Frying: It is a slower method of frying than in the case of vegetables. You use the casserole or frying pan with more oil and moderate heat;
• Deep Frying: This type of frying is the same as that used in the west, to obtain crunchy food, putting it in very hot oil. Often the process is repeated twice in the same oil to make it more crisp;
• Frying on Paper: Small pieces of meat and fish line up and then wrap in cellophane, forming small packages which are fried until they are soft. They are served wrapped in cellophane that is opened and discarded by the taster using the sticks.
Steam cooking is also used, and it is customary to place bamboo “skimmers” on top of each other, so that foods that take longer to cook are underneath, closer to the boiling water. The oven is seldom used, as Chinese cuisines rarely have ovens (a rare exception is the roast duck found in more sophisticated restaurants). When you want to cook large quantities of meat and chicken, soy sauce is used, which gives a strong aroma and a pink coffee color. Typical of Chinese cuisine is the stew of minced meat with vegetables, cooked for up to four hours in pa in clay to have a gelatinous consistency.