China has a vast territory and a vast territory. The Chinese territory starts from the Mohe River in the north, and the Zengmu Shoal in the south to the southern end of the Nansha Islands; the Heilongjiang River and the Wusuli River meet in the east and the Pamir Plateau in the west. From south to north, from east to west, the distance is more than 5,000 kilometers. From the perspective of geography, geographical natural and human environment have certain restrictions on human activities. China’s natural geographical environment is complex and its climatic conditions are diverse, which has led to the diversification of regional culture and has had a profound impact on the food culture. Therefore, different diets in different regions of China constitute a unique feature of Chinese food culture.
Characteristics of Chinese Food Culture
The biggest feature of Chinese food culture is regional differences, which also form differences in China’s food culture. Due to China’s vast territory, vast land and vast resources, there are differences in climate, property, customs and habits. For a long time, many flavors have been formed in the diet. China is not only an ancient country with a long history of civilization, but also a rich environment for food culture. The Chinese food culture can be summarized into the following characteristics:
First, there are many flavors. Due to the differences in climate, property, customs and habits across China, many flavors have been formed in the diet for a long time. There has always been a saying in the north of China, and there are four flavors of “Southern Sweet North Salty East and Spicy West”, mainly the four flavors of Bayu, Qilu, Huaiyang and Yuelu.
Second, the seasons are different. A major feature of Chinese cooking is eating on a seasonal basis. Under the influence of traditional concepts, we have always been garnishing and seasoning according to the season. The taste of winter is rich and mellow, mostly by stewing simmer; the taste of summer is light and cool; in summer, cold and cold is the main cooking method.
Third, pay attention to beauty. Chinese cooking is not only expressed in the exquisite cooking technology, but also pays attention to the beauty of the dishes, paying attention to the harmony of the color, fragrance, taste, shape and utensils of the food. The display of the beauty of the dishes is also multi-faceted. A carrot and a cabbage heart, the cooking masters can give you a variety of beautiful shapes, to achieve a harmonious unity of color, fragrance, taste, shape and beauty, people can enjoy A highly unified aesthetic of spirit and matter.
Fourth, pay attention to the taste. Chinese cooking not only requires the food to be full of flavor and flavor, but also pays great attention to the taste of the food. The name of Chinese dishes can be described as magical, magnificent, and refined. It is also due to the culinary master’s naming of various dishes, the way of taste, the pace of eating, entertainment and interspersed. The name of the dish is named according to the realism of the main, auxiliary, seasoning and cooking methods, and also introduces some historical anecdotes, myths and legends, celebrity food. Some restaurants use the name of the dish to play their own store image, such as “family portrait”, “general crossing bridge”, “lion head”, “being chicken”, “longfeng Chengxiang”, “Hongmen feast” and so on. It can also be said that these are their signature dishes, and most of the diners are also directed at these famous dishes.
Five, medical and food combination. Since ancient times, China has had the theory of “medical and food homology” and “medicine and diet”, which is another major feature of China’s cooking technology. Chinese cooking uses the medicinal value of food ingredients to make a variety of delicious foods, so that you can enjoy a certain degree of health care while enjoying, and can achieve the dual purpose of medical and food.
Chinese food etiquette
The Chinese nation’s dietary life embraces the characteristics of traditional culture, although some of its characteristics are not scientific, but Chinese culture. important part. Diet is not only defined by the word science, it also has a certain cultural significance. Then, Chinese food etiquette is not only an important aspect of studying Chinese culture, but also a golden key to opening Chinese culture on a regular basis.
First of all, in the use of food utensils, “chopsticks” is a major feature of Chinese people’s eating habits since ancient times, and has been used ever since. Chopsticks, ancient times, have a long history in China. “Book of Rites” once said: “The rice cooker has nothing to do.” It can be seen that at least in the Yin Shang era, chopsticks have been eaten. Chopsticks are generally made of bamboo, a pair of hands in hand, free to use, that is simple and economical, and very convenient. Many Europeans and Americans have seen the use of chopsticks by the Orientals, and they are stunned and praised as an artistic creation. In fact, other countries in the East have adopted this kind of eating habits in China, which can be said to be a major contribution of Chinese civilization.
Secondly, the Chinese diet pays great attention to etiquette. Ceremony is the most respected concept of Chinese traditional culture. “Book of Rites and Liyun” says: the initial diet of the ceremony. Therefore, the ritual refers to a kind of order and norms. The direction of the seats, the arrangement of the spoons, and the order of serving all reflect a ritual. This kind of dietary etiquette in China can be described as an internal ethical spirit and moral concept. It is the logical starting point of our food culture.
Again, the ancient Chinese also emphasized that eating should be synchronized with the changes in the four seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter, day and night, you must eat foods of different natures, and even cooking and cooking foods should take into account seasonal factors and climate. These ideas have been formed as early as the pre-Qin period, and there are clear records in the Book of Rites, and they are against the reverse season. Confucius said that “not eating from time to time” means that people should not only eat regularly, but also eat off-season food. However, Confucius’s thoughts seem to be contrary to the consciousness of modern people. Nowadays, some people deliberately eat anti-seasonal foods mostly for the sake of broadening.
Thus, under the influence of cooking practice and theory in the ancient times, some people put forward the idea of ”the beauty of neutrality.” The idea that this view is realized through tuning also affects people’s entire eating habits, especially for the ancient literati who pursue artistic life and artistic life. Extremely the opposite of “neutralization”, the extreme is not regarded as authentic in cooking. For foods that are too salty, too hot, too sour, although they are only sought after by a few people, they are The body is extremely unfavorable. Therefore, social life and political life require a kind of neutrality. After all, the disadvantages of extremism are invincible.
China has always had the “Southern Rice North” diet, and also has the taste of “South Sweet North Xiandong Sour Western Spicy”, mainly the four flavors of Bayu, Qilu, Huaiyang and Yuelu. Hot food and cooked food are also a major feature of Chinese food and drink. This is related to the early development of Chinese civilization and the development of cooking technology. The Chinese diet has always been known for its wide range of recipes and exquisite cooking techniques. According to historical records, when the Southern and Northern Dynasties, the chef of Liang Wudi Xiao Yan, he could make a melon without more than a dozen different styles, and a road dish can make dozens of flavors. It shows that the superb cooking technology can not help but astound the profoundness of Chinese food culture!