Importance Of Chinese Cuisine

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Chinese cuisine is widely seen as representing one of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages in the world. It originated in different regions of China and has been introduced to other parts of the world- from Southeast Asia to North America and Western Europe. A meal in Chinese culture is typically seen as consisting of two general components: (1) a carbohydrate source or starch, known as 主食 in the Chinese language (Pinyin: zhǔshí; lit. "main food", staple)- typically rice, noodles, or mantou (steamed buns), and (2) accompanying dishes of vegetables, fish, meat, or other items, known as 菜 (Pinyin: cài; lit. "vegetable") in the Chinese language. (This cultural conceptualization is in some ways in contrast to Western meals where meat or animal protein is often considered the main dish.) As is well known throughout the world, rice is a critical part of much of Chinese cuisine. However, in many parts of China, particularly North China, wheat-based products including noodles and steamed buns (饅頭) predominate, in contrast to South China where rice is dominant. Despite the importance of rice in Chinese cuisine, at extremely…show more content…
In the Chinese meal, each diner picks food out of the communal plates on a bite-by-bite basis with their chopsticks. This is in contrast to western meals where it is customary to dole out individual servings of the dishes at the beginning of the meal. Many non-Chinese are uncomfortable with allowing a person's individual utensils (which might have traces of saliva) to touch the communal plates; for this hygienic reason, additional serving spoons or chopsticks (公筷, lit. common/public/shared chopsticks) may be made available. The food selected is often eaten together with a mouthful of
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