Features of Chinese Food
Chinese food, rich and colorful, has diversified color, aromatic flavor, and excellent taste as its main features. With these three characteristics, it is not only tasty but also a work of art for people to appreciate.
To make real Chinese dishes, none of the three characteristics - color, aroma and delicious taste should be excluded.
Dishes with diversified color can usually greatly arouse people's appetite. For many years, Chinese food preparation has paid attention to aesthetic appearance. To have a bright, pleased and harmonious color is one of the main principles when cooking dishes. To achieve this, add two or three ingredients with different colors are added as decoration to complement the main ingredient. Thus, it is not only the taste of the dishes that makes you amazed but also its aesthetic value.
The aroma of the dish is very important. Usually aniseed, Chinese prickly ash seeds, cinnamon and other spices are added to help dispel the ingredients' particular smells, such as foul, fishy and mutton smells. Also some other flavors like shallot, ginger, garlic or chili, cooking wine and sesame oil are added to make the dishes fragrant in flavor.
Regarded as the soul of the Chinese dish, taste can be divided into five classes - sweet, sour, bitter, hot and salty. Seasoning such as soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and salt in proper amount and in different sequences, contribute to the taste of the dish. In the vast land of China, there are eating habits of 'South-Sweet, North-Salty, East-Hot and West-Sour' according to the different tastes of the people. Those in southern China like to add more sugar when cooking than others. Jiangsu Cuisine one of the 'Eight Cuisines' is representative of 'South-Sweet'. Shandong Cuisine feature more salt and people living in Hunan, Gubei, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan like chili best. Sour flavor is favored by Shanxi, Fujian, Guangxi people and the northeasterners.
When a banquet is held, usually ten to twelve people sit around a table to enjoy the bounteous feast. Delicious hot and cold dishes with different tastes and flavors cooked in different ways are served. Together with the diversified colors of the dishes, everyone can't help marveling at the rich Chinese dietetic culture.
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