Cuisine and Food
It is no exaggeration to say that Chinese cuisine is dainty, in its items, esthetics, atmosphere, and effects. Eating in China is both a culinary and a cultural experience. Cuisine in China is a harmonious integration of color, redolence, taste, shape and the fineness of the instruments.
Cuisine can rise to many different occasions from luxury court feasts, fetes, holy sacrificial rites, joyous wedding ceremonies to simple daily meals and snacks. The art of a good cook is to provide a wholesome and satisfying dish to suit the occasion.
Cooking Art: For the cooking process, chefs pick choice and various ingredients and seasonings while employing unparalleled complicated skills handed down from their fathers, ever aspiring to their ideal of perfection for all the senses. Among the many cooking methods they use are boiling, stewing, braising, frying, steaming, crisping, baking, and simmering and so on. When they finish their masterpieces they are arranged on a variety of plates and dishes so that they are a real pleasure to view, to smell and ultimately to savor.
Eight Cuisines: Chinese dishes have many schools in cooking. Of them, the most influential and representative and acknowleged by the society are the culinary schools of Lu, Chuan, Yue, Min, Su, Zhe, Xiang and Hui, namely, what people often says "the eight culinary schools" of China. The formation of a culinary school is inseparable with its long history and original cooking characteristics. It is also under the influences such as natural geography, climatic conditions, resources, specialties and dieting habits of this area. The cooking techniques of Chinese "eight culinary schools" have their own charm and the characteristics of dishes also have their own strong points.
Man Han Quan Xi: With each dynasty new recipes were created until the art of food preparation reach its peak during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). The dinner called Man Han Quan Xi that incorporates all the very best of Man and Han Cuisine is held in high esteem involving as it does countless dishes, each with its own distinctive flavor and appeal. This veritable banquet in its preparation and presentation typifies all of the culture and culinary arts that have been perfected over centuries and is a comprehensive amalgam of taste, instruments, and manner.
Medicinal Cuisine: Good cuisine has the effect of prolonging life, sustaining the constitution and promoting energy and in this respect bears some relationship to Chinese medicine. Medicinal food is kind of food which can be used for dietetic therapy, and is processed through cooking. The final result is a combination of Chinese traditional medical knowledge and cooking experience.
Chinese Table Manners and Chopstick Etiquette: Eating in China is full of customs unusual to the foreigner. Chopsticks are a struggle for those used to the fork, but versatile and dexterous in the hands of a master. The use of two simple sticks in this way is an art in itself and chopsticks have determined the way in which Chinese food is presented at table. Chopsticks shouldn't be used as spears, nor should they be separated as the togetherness of the pair represents the closeness of a marriage. Gesticulating or playing with your chopsticks is considered rude, and dropping them or clinking them is bad luck. The standard table setting of a pair of chopsticks and a Chinese spoon may be daunting at first, but if you swear off the fork and knife, you'll find that after a few meals the necessity of feeding yourself has made you an expert. Almost every Chinese meal is family style. In China, each region, and even each town, has its own specialty, and trying it is a great way to honor your host and experience the diversity of Chinese cuisine.
11 days Cooking Tour in China