Quite naturally, when you are making a Chinese friend, you are very likely to be invited to dine together. Food to Chinese is not only to satisfy your appetite. Meeting people out at meals is one way for the Chinese to socialize.
It would be good if you know something about the Chinese cuisines when you are invited to such occasions.
Chinese has a food culture, which is as colorful and rich as the country. While it will be to complex to talk about regional diversity of the Chinese cuisine in this introductory text, it would be good for you to first learn to distinguish the two distinct styles, the Northern and the Southern.
The Northern cuisine is generally oilier and uses more of vinegar and garlic. They are found in the Northern China such as Shandong or Tianjin. Many of the dishes are pasta based. The popular ones include jiaozi (ravioli-dumplings), noodles, steamed stuffed buns, steamed bread and fried meat dumplings.
Southern style cooking is known to focus more on tenderness and freshness. The rice dishes are very popular. The popular items including rice cakes, noodles and congee. Perhaps the best known among the Southern cuisine is the Cantonese food, which you can find in most of the Chinatowns in the Western countries. Teochew dishes are also very popular among the overseas Chinese.
As a whole, while the Chinese food must taste good, it must also look good. The Chinese like to evaluate a dish by looking at its ‘color, aroma and taste’. Color and aroma share equal, if not more importance, with taste.
As a result, Chinese food tends to be very colorful. The aroma is important as well, as it stimulates the appetite. This explains why ingredients like scallions, chili peppers, garlic, wine, star anise, pepper, cinnamon and sesame oil are so why used in Chinese cooking.
Chinese like to eat food that is fresh. This explains the efforts put into maintaining the freshness in their food. They like to retain the natural flavor of the ingredients, and try to eliminate undesirable odor from the food.
An excellent Chinese dish has to strike a balance among factors that include flavored, blandness, sweetness and sourness. A dish that manages to capture all a good variety of tastes in due proportion is thought to be true to the traditional Chinese taste.
Chinese are conscious about their health, and good dishes have to offer good nutritional value as well. There is an ancient theory of harmonization of foods that seeks to blend the five different flavors of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, piquant, saltiness with the body’s basic nutritional needs pertaining to the five major organs of the body.
Thanks sanfamedia.com for the picture