All you need to know about Chinese food

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Uncover Interesting Facts About Chinese Food

Someone once said that Chinese people eat everything that has four legs apart from tables and all items that fly except airplanes. Many dishes may make people from other parts of the world squeamish or feel weird like insects, dog hot pot, snakes, scorpions, pig’s ears, rats, feet, heads, kidneys intestines, and boiled blood, etc.


That aside, it is a well- known fact that people from all over the globe love Chinese food. It is a typical dish when couples and families go out to eat or want to experiment different recipes at home. It is not without reason because it has many fantastic and finger licking dishes. The dishes have five essential flavors i.e. bitter, salty, spicy, sweet, and salty which must be balanced.


Among the things that make Chinese food unique is the fact that their culture has a profound affection for food. Each celebration normally has a set menu that people must follow. All the dishes that people serve contain spiritual purpose and deep meaning. Ingredients chefs use for the meals be it meat, spices, or vegetables have meaning.


Cooking techniques are also calculated to retain as many nutrients as possible to achieve balanced food. The Chinese are fond of saying “waste not, want not” in regards to food which makes perfect sense because everything in a Chinese meal is well put and planned. It results in a unique cuisine that stands out from the rest tantalizing people’s taste buds. The foods that are prominent in regards to Chinese cuisine include

  • Garlic- symbolizes eternity
  • Noodles- symbolize longevity
  • Rice- implies increasing prosperity
  • Bamboo shoots- a sign of wealth
  • Legumes- may mean success and coins, while seeds may symbolize fertility in women
  • Fish- it is for abundance and prosperity
  • Citrus fruits- indicate wealth, abundance, and luck
  • Duck- symbolism of dragon and phoenix which implies good marriage, unity, and strength
  • Egg- it is of fertility


Cooking Methods

If a word can be used to describe the cooking techniques for Chinese food, it would be simple. In a majority of the dishes, the aim is to make raw food edible without depriving it of its most essential nutrients or taking up too much time. It is one of the reasons people compare Chinese take-outs to fast foods as they are comparable in speed. Common cooking methods the Chinese use include:


  • Braising- it is the process of browning food before simmering it in small amounts of liquid seasoning.


  • Steaming- mostly used to make buns, meat, fish, and dim sum.


  • Roasting- a universal cooking technique that mainly used for meats and in the Chinese cuisine used for roasted Peking duck.


  • Hong-Shao- it means red-cooked, and it produces the richest reddish brown color that you see in meat dishes.


Noteworthy is that the Chinese pay immense attention in regards to smell, color, taste, and shape of food. Taste is known as the soul of the dishes. It may also be important to understand that the Chinese love to give their meals catchy names. The names can be misleading at times. For instance, ants climb trees, is spicy minced pork, field chicken is a frog, while husband wife lung slices are thinly sliced tongue, bovine lung, and other cuts that they season using chili oil.


When it comes to food decoration, some chefs especially the Jiangsu experts tend to go overboard. They believe that a person’s first bite is with the eyes; thus, they strive to serve their food in intricate patterns, or even life like shapes which they brighten with precise decorative herbs and vegetable carvings. You may also know that the Chinese do not use forks or knives to eat because traditionally they view this as barbaric and violent. Instead, they use chopsticks which do not chop because Chinese food is soft or chopped up to bite size pieces before cooking or serving.

Why is Chinese food so popular?

If you are looking for ethnic cuisines, there is perhaps none more popular than Chinese cuisine, a cuisine which has taken over the world by storm. Today, Chinese food has almost become a way of life, with China-originating dishes such as fried rice, noodles, and various chicken foods making their way to the favourite food list of many.


Whether you are going out to restaurants, or ordering food at home, you are sure to have tried out Chinese one time or the other. And it is not just in restaurants that Chinese foods are popular. Chinese foods can be found in roadside stalls, which stay always crowded, and there are many joints all around the world that have opened up to deliver Chinese food to its customers.


In the United States, where uncountable pizzas are consumed every day, the number of operating Chinese restaurants is more than the number of Pizza Huts, McDonalds, and Taco Bells combined. This alone is an astounding fact, but bear testimony to the popularity of the Chinese foods. And it is not only all-Chinese restaurants that serve Chinese foods. Other restaurants have Chinese food to, and you can choose from them as much as you prefer.


So why exactly is Chinese food so popular?


The main root of the answer to this question lies in the fact that, Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse. It is hard to imagine any other food category so diverse in their variety as the Chinese food is. Chinese food has a global appeal, with its tastes suiting people in any parts of the world. Chinese food today is not the exact sort of food that you will find in China, but has a blend of the traditional roots and a part of the culture of the present countries where they are found. Still the essence remains the same.


The Top Reasons You Will Love Chinese Food


  1. The Great Taste


In spite of the discrimination against the Chinese for centuries, which might have made it difficult for Chinese restaurants to make a stand, the fact is that, simply put, the food tastes too good. And no one can resist good food, food that satisfies your stomach as well as your taste buds. In fact, you can have this cuisine as a daily meal and have a full stomach without any serious stomach ailments. You can have it as vegetarian or non-vegetarian, cook it up at home, for your own self, or for a group of friends. This food is grand in its simplicity.


  1. Its Cheap


Another fact which makes it so popular is that it is cheap. It costs as much as the average meal, even less, and certainly lesser than other cuisines like Italian or Mexican. At the cost of one pizza, you can easily buy over sixty bowls of Chicken noodles, which goes to say a lot. This cheap cost combined with great quality and taste has raised its levels of fame.


  1. It’s one ancient cuisine


Chinese cuisine is the oldest cuisine and is a complex food category, cumulating years of research and wisdom. The original Chinese food was rather bland, but as it has adapted to the world around, taking a few flavors and ingredients from elsewhere, it has emerged as a strong force.


This cuisine has been around, long before pizzas and McDonalds and Pizza Huts sprung up in every corner of America. Its taste is vastly different from that of the native American and European food, which makes it an even more unique experience. It gives you a welcome break from the blandness and uniformity of native food, and offers and an exotic burst of flavors on the palate.


  1. Everybody knows a Chinese restaurant


In fact, in the earlier days, when the concept of home delivery was still not a reality, Chinese restaurants became the first to bring food to the doorsteps of people, and became a popular option for people wanting to eat in their homes but not willing to cook. Moreover, Chinese restaurants also remained open on Christmas holidays and other Christian holidays and people turned to these restaurants when everywhere else was closed.


  1. Offers some exquisite combinations


Combining exotic flavors with great services and availability, Chinese food slowly climbed the rungs of the ladder to emerge as the top ethnic cuisine, and the most popular worldwide. Whether it is in their native continent, Asia, or elsewhere in the world, Chinese food is predominantly popular, perhaps for an accumulation of all the above reasons.


While in the beginning, when Chinese immigrants first came to America, many had been sceptic about Chinese food, harbouring myths like the Chinese ate rats for food, the sarcasm slowly changed to admiration as people started getting the taste of the food.


Today, even in spite of many emerging cuisines, Chinese cuisine remains safely popular and will continue to remain so.


Chinese Food vs. Italian Food: Which one is the better of the two?

Dining out, in restaurants or while ordering for home delivery, the debate always crosses our minds: should we order Chinese or Italian? In fact, these have become so popular worldwide that their names are well-known by everybody. And you will find these foods, not just in restaurants, but also in roadside stalls, in small hotels, whether in the city or located along the highway.


Each cuisine reflects their country of origin, and brings with it the tastes and nativity of the culture where they were born. That is the reason perhaps, why they are so popular: they bring with them a taste of the world.


Which Cuisine to Try Out?


There are many types of cuisines you will find all over the world: Chinese, Italian, Mexican, French, Indian, and Thai. However, Chinese food and Italian food are the most popular of all these worldwide and are quite ahead in the competition to be the best.


So which among these two popular cuisines is the best?


Though Italian food offers a tough competition, studies have shown that Chinese food is preferred and deemed as better than Italian food. In fact, Chinese food tops the list of favourite ethnic cuisines in the U.S. and the case it similar in the U.K as well, with Chinese food taking first place while Italian food comes in fourth place.


Foods of these cuisines that are found in other places are markedly different than the actual native food found in the countries of origin: perhaps, one of the reasons being that not all native ingredients are found elsewhere, and hence, people have had to adapt to the ingredients found in those countries. Thus, such cuisines today are a fusion of their country of origin as well as their present countries, but that doesn’t mean that their essence has changed.


Italian food: A Great Taste


If you are looking to enjoy something stylish and tasty with having something too heavy, Italian cuisine is a great option. It has many textures and uses many palettes of flavors that appeal to the taste buds. The most popular of the Italian foods is perhaps pizza. In fact, according to statistics, 94 per cent of Americans have pizza regularly and pizza accounts for roughly 10 per cent food service sales. This goes to show the enormous impact that Italian food has had on the masses. Other popular Italian foods include spaghetti and lasagne.


All these can also be made at home, although pizzas sure seem tastier when ordered through popular pizza outlets. People are most prone to order such food while they are huddled together at home, watching a movie, or a sports match. If you are a fan of spicy food, you might not like the taste of Italian food a lot, although there are toppings that you can add in order to help it match your palate.


Italian food is available both for vegetarian and non-vegetarians, with equal amounts of meat products and vegetable products available. You can also choose to have veg pizzas or non-veg pizzas, depending on what you prefer.


Chinese food: The Better One?


Chinese food has been around for centuries, and has evolved with time like all other cuisines. In fact, according to the Chinese American Restaurant Association, currently operating Chinese restaurants in the United States total to an amount of over 45,000. This number is more than the total number of KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Huts, Taco Bells combined. This goes to show the enormous popularity of Chinese food in America.


And not just in America, Chinese food also has a global appeal. From chow-chow to fried rice, to various chicken dishes, Chinese food has been a popular go-to food of most people. You can even find many popular Chinese roadside stalls in markets, where people out for shopping or just an outing swarm to eat.


Whether you want spicy or non-spicy, Chinese food will appeal to your taste. You can even cook them up in the comfort of your own, to please your own appetite or to please the taste buds of guests. Chinese food is just as popular for eating alone or with groups of people you love. Whether the weather is cold or hot, Chinese food is just perfect for any kinds of weather.


While the Chinese food that we eat today does, in fact, vary from the traditional food in China, the roots of all the foods remain the same. This Asian giant’s food is taking centre-stage and has been for a very long time. Now, not only specialized Chinese restaurants serve Chinese food, but you can get them in plenty in other restaurants as well.


In the debate between Chinese food and Italian food, Chinese definitely is the winner, because of its versatility and global appeal.