Chinese Culture Facts about Food

China’s traditions vary greatly from those followed in the western world. Be it family life, special occasions or dinning etiquettes, China’s people follow their own special customs. The Chinese culture is quite interesting, particularly for the inhabitants of the west. Those who are expecting some guests from China or are planning a visit to this amazing country should go through the following discussion in order to discover some facts about Chinese culture related to food.

The Main Meals

China’s people enjoy their meals keeping a balance between necessary nutrients. Every meal consists of a few important components. A source of carbohydrates is vital in order to supply energy for the entire day’s tasks. This carbohydrate source is starch which may be taken in various forms depending on preferences. Rice and noodles are the most common choice and are known as China’s main staple food. Another source of carbohydrates is known a mantou in China. This is steamed buns which provide a filling meal to the family. Accompanying this main dish are vegetables. Moreover, a source of protein is also enjoyed in the form of meat which is mostly fish.

Chinese Culture Facts about Food

One of the most noticeable things about China’s food culture food is the fact that all of the meals are simple. They are not oily or spicy. This helps people avoid several health related problems in life.

The Serving

According the China’s customs, each individual at the dining table gets his or her own bowl of main course, that is, rice or noodles. On the other hand, the side dishes – vegetables or meat – are served separately in plates or bowls which are shared by everyone sitting at the dining table. China is famous for the use of chopsticks which are used for picking up food bites from plates and bowls. Each individual eats the food bite by bite by using chopsticks.

The Don’ts of the Dining Table

China’s people are particular about their dining etiquettes. Whether you are visitor at a Chinese dinner party or are entertaining some Chinese guests, the following information will help you avoid things which may offend your hosts or dinner guests.

  • Use your chopsticks to eat your food with elegance and do not play with them. In other words, do not wave them around.
  • In China, joss sticks are stuck into rice bowls vertically and placed on the ancestor alter. Due to this reason, never use your chopsticks to stick them vertically into the rice bowl as this can remind your host or guest of funerals.
  • Sophistication is an important component or dining in China. It is necessary to mind your manners, such as keeping the mouth closed when chewing the food.
  • Napkins or tissue papers are used while eating to wipe the mouth if any food sticks around the corners of the lips.
  • While sneezing or coughing at the dining table, a napkin or handkerchief must be used to cover the mouth. It is important not to sneeze or cough on the food.

Many of the eating manners observed in China are the same as the rest of the world. What is different is their cuisine, the serving method and the special use of chopsticks.