China is a country with a history which dates back to about three thousand six hundred years ago and the history of some of the culinary traditions carried out by the Chinese probably date back almost as far. They are famous all over the world, although until you sample them in their native country, you can never truly appreciate how delicious they actually are.
This ancient and highly sophisticated food culture is a characteristic unique to the country itself and nowhere in the world will you find a race that regard the art of cooking or of eating as highly as the Chinese do. In fact, Chinese food is probably the country’s most prominent cultural feature which gives you some idea of how significant it is for the people but also for the country’s economy and world standing.
China itself is huge country and its climatic and ethnic diversity has resulted in many distinctive styles of cuisine. Most dishes, however, can be roughly divided into either a northern or southern category.
The northern style dishes are more oily with vinegar and garlic featuring highly among the list of essential ingredients. Pasta is also important in this variety of Chinese cuisine and the best known styles of northern cooking include Peking, Tientsin and Shantung.
In the south, you will find that chili peppers are extremely important and can be found in cuisine types such as Szechwan and Hunan. Cantonese cooking also originates in the southern half of the country and its emphasis is on sweeter dishes. Rice and rice products are the most popular accompaniments to these particular styles of cooking.
China is also credited with having first discovered tea and it is an indispensable part of the country’s daily life. The custom has been ingrained in the Chinese culture for over one thousand years. Tea is also the country’s national drink. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals so the natives believe that those who drink tea on a regular basis enjoy a longer life. As idealistic as it may sound, the benefits of tea to the human body have been scientifically proven so where better to test this than in the drink’s native home.