History of Chinese Cuisine
will give you a brief introduction of Chinese cuisine history for your reference. Chinese Cuisine
is the general term of the dishes of various regions and ethnic groups in China. It has a long history with superb technology, rich categories and schools and unique style. It is the crystallization of the history of thousands years of Chinese cooking.
Chinese cooking is an important part of Chinese Culture, also known as Chinese food culture. Chinese Cuisine is one of the three world cuisines (Chinese Cuisine, French Cuisine and Turkish Cuisine), and has a far-reaching impact on East Asian Region. The recipes come from various regions and ethnic dishes.
Before Song Dynasty
According to historical records, as early as 5000 years ago, China already had grill, grilled fish and other foods. In Zhou Dynasty, there was a famous cuisine called “Ba Zheng” (Eight Treasures), which was very influential for future generations. During Han, Wei, South and North Dynasties, Chinese cuisine developed rapidly, and appeared many famous cuisines. The “Wu Hou Mackerel” created by Louhu of Han Dynasty was one of them. On the unearthed bamboo slips from the No. 1 Tomb of Mawangdu Ruins, there were recorded over hundreds cuisines. In the “Qi Ming Yao Shu” written by Jia Sixie during North Wei Dynasty, there were over 200 kinds of cuisines recorded. Because of the introduction and influence of Buddhism, and the promotion of Liang Wu Di of South Dynasty, vegetarian dishes gradually had impact on people’s daily life. During Sui, Tang and the Five Dynasties period, the designed and colorful cuisines and diet dishes also had new development.
Song Dynasty is one of the climaxes of the development of Chinese cuisine. In the restaurants of Bianjing and Linan, there were numerous cold dishes, hot dishes, soups and color dishes. The dishes were marked with South, North, Chuan flavors and vegetarian dishes, which represented that the schools of cuisines began to form.
Yuan, Ming, Qing Dynasty
During Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty, Chinese cuisine has great development. Thousands of cuisines appeared. During this period, ethnic groups believing in Islamism moved to all the area of China, and Halal Food as a new kind of Chinese food occupied a position in China. The schools of Chinese cuisine had formed. From late Qing Dynasty, along with foreigners came to China, Chinese cuisine also introduced some characters of western cuisines.
After the Establishment of People’s Republic of China
Since the establishment of People’s Republic of China, especially since 1979, Chinese cuisine’s inheritance and innovation obtained exciting results. Traditional cuisines of various regions and ethnic groups came back and appear in the lists of restaurants. Besides Beijing fangshan dishes, xi an, Hangzhou, Kaifeng, Yangzhou and other regions also invented Tang-style cuisine, Song dynasty style cuisine, Confucius cuisine, Hong Lou cuisine and so on.
Now, Chinese cuisine is very famous in the world for its color, aroma, favor and well design. There are four, or eight major Chinese cuisines. The Four Chinese Cuisines are Lu Cuisine
, Chuan Cuisine
, Huaiyang Cuisine and Cantonese Cuisines. As these schools of cuisines are formed naturally, you could tell the differences of them by the materials, production, taste and artistic styles of them.
Characters of Chinese Cuisine
Chinese cuisine culture is one of the Chinese culture. China is a vast country, taking up most of Asia and claiming much of its eastern coastline, which makes the cuisines in China vary from east to west, north to south. Compared with western food, the cooking style of Chinese cuisine is various, such as steam, boil, bake, fry and so on.
Three Essential Factors of Chinese Cooking
The three essential factors, by which Chinese cooking is judged, are known as color, aroma and taste. The color of Chinese food, the first of these factors which is so evident in a Chinese banquet, includes the layout and design of the dishes, best exemplified in particular by the large elaborately-prepared cold dishes served at the beginning of the dinner. Aroma implies more than what’s the nose can detect directly, it also includes the freshness of the raw materials used and the blending of seasoning. Taste is the art of proper seasoning, though it also involves the texture of the food and fine slicing skills. These three factors are achieved by the careful coordination of a series of delicate activities, including selecting ingredients, cutting, mixing flavors, timing the cooking, controlling the heat and finally, laying out the food on the plate for the table.
Varieties of Chinese Cuisine
If you hear someone say that I love Chinese food, he or she is taking too much for granted. In fact, there is no such simple thing as the so-called ‘Chinese food’. A more accurate statement in this instance should be such that expresses one’s preference for a particular Chinese cuisine or a particular regional way of cooking. With a territory as large and a history as long and complex as China’s, it is inevitable that distinct regional differences in cuisine have involved over the course of centuries. Numerous factors are involved in this diction, geography, climate, transportation, migration, and influence from overseas cultures, etc..
Although there is no agreement on the precise number of Chinese regional cuisines, those concerned with such matters agree that the four principal culinary regions are Shandong, Sichuan, Canton, and Jiangsu. It should be pointed out that these designations are not hard and fast geographical boundaries. Beijing food, for example, falls within the realm of Shandong cooking, but includes some Sichuan dishes and Mongolian-influenced specialties, while the cuisine of the entire densely populated Yangtze River Delta area, including Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou dishes, falls under the category of Yangzhou cuisine. All over China, local delicacies and foods unique to various ethnic groups are numerous. According to some others, the characteristic flavors of China’s eight cuisines can be summed up as the light southern cuisines, and the salty northern cuisines, the sweet eastern cuisines, and the spicy western cuisines.