Chinese cuisine is one of the most important components of Chinese culture. It’s long history dates back four thousand year ago, with an archaeologist finding the oldest noodle in the upper reaches of the Chinese Yellow River - It dated back 4,000 years!
Chinese food is exquisite, appealing to the senses with its bright colours, aroma, taste, appearance, feel and meanings. There are of course many regional differences across the country due to climate and soil conditions altering the local ingredients but in all sense and purpose it is high quality version of your local Chinese take-away.
For those yet to try their local Chinese, a Chinese meal consists of two main elements: a staple of rice or noodle and a meat and/or vegetable dish. In Chinese dining every member of the family will have their own rice or noodle dish whereas the meat/vegetable dishes will shared. Very different to British traditions whereby we chose our met or vegetable main and share our rice’s/noodles.
The Chinese do not use a knife and fork to eat their dinner, they dine with chopsticks for rice, noodle, meat and vegetable dishes and use a small ceramic spoon for soups. Although the locals will not be offended if you ask for cutlery, it is fun to try and have a go with chopsticks, especially eating rice….. with is particularly tricky!
For those of you that are dessert lovers, great news! You don’t have to wait till you’ve eaten dinner for dessert. Desserts are not typically eaten with dinner but are considered a snack that can eaten between meals! As an added bonus if you want a dessert after dinner you can still enjoy some locally sourced fresh fruit!
Etiquette - In China, leaving behind an empty plate is a sign to the host that you’re still hungry. If you are full and don’t want to eat more food, consider leaving a little behind to let the host know you have had enough.