Food Culture In China

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Food culture in China has been developed for thousands of years, which has the longest continuous history across the globe. Through the long history of Chinese civilization, the Chinese food and cooking have been into fine-art or sub-culture, nowadays is often referred as Chinese food culture (JARQ, 2004). The culture has roots and wings which food is born because of the culture. The book- Food Culture in China, written by Jacqueline M. Newman, provides background information about how, where, why and when Chinese foods and details how food-related things came into being. The writer also tries to point out the differences between Chinese and westerners, the past and now. It makes the readers know more about the foundations of Chinese cuisine.…show more content…
Each chapter will also divide into some sub-topics so as to better-organised the content. In the following paragraph of this book review, it will show that why is the book is a (go 門) in exploring Chinese food culture.

In the first chapter-Historical Overview, gives a background information about China. Topics about land, agriculture, people, ethnic customs and the like give readers to first understand the geographical characteristics, origins, and religions of China and Chinese so as to develop a basic knowledge about how the culture has been developed and later how the food culture has been developing in China.

The writer first stated that China has established her culinary beginnings at Yellow River (Which is also called Huanghe) (p. 1). Being near to the river favors the agriculture activity of Chinese. Millet, grains are usually planted not only old days but also modern China. As referred to JARQ (2004), Chinese people cultivate those products depending on the variation of geographical and climatic conditions. Grains are also the staple food of Chinese nowadays, which also called as fan. This makes the readers can grab a brief understanding on the origin of the agriculture activity of China, the reason why rice is the staple food of
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Chinese people believe that ‘food is medicine, medicine is food’ (p. 181). This part has played an important role in exploring the differences of food culture between China and western countries. Food culture in China is unique as it has developed its own system to classify the medicinal effect of each food. Those may not be based upon the western sciences but are based on the empirical observations for example when Shennong tried foods and herbs himself and recorded that information (p. 192). As mentioned in an article by JARQ (2004),Westerners tends to rely on medical pills that contain compounds extracted from natural material, but for Chinese, they tend to healthy food products. In this chapter, readers are not just only understand the classification of food according to the curing effect of food, but also to figure out some traditional mindset of Chinese. For example, Chinese usually believe that food looks like what they are supposed to be strengthened, a walnut that looks like a brain is thought to increase intelligence (p.

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