The Types of Chinese Cuisines and Their Evolution

“Food is the first necessity of the people” is a very old Chinese proverb that sums up how seriously this culture takes the art of cooking. It is China’s one tribute that is shared by people of all backgrounds, poor and rich, young and old.

The different types of Chinese cooking did not take place overnight but slowly evolved throughout the centuries that started over 400,000 years ago with the Peking Man (traditional Chinese).

Learning to use whatever plants, herbs, spices and vegetables were available, the residents of China are very creative and strict about their food presentation and taste. Two distinct philosophies in Chinese Cuisine slowly emerged that are still prevalent today, Confucianism and Taoism.

Confucianism beliefs concentrate on the perfection of quality and taste that also includes the appearance and texture of each and every meal that is served. Small bite sized pieces are important to this belief.

Table manners were also established and the presence of a knife on the table was considered very poor taste. Making mealtime a harmonious event was the end result by way of the food preparation. An excellent cook, however, could not gain this status until first being an established matchmaker.

Taoism is similar to Confucianism in the fact that presentation and the perfect blend of ingredients are of the utmost importance. They take their meal preparation one step further in searching for herbs and spices that are known to possess healing powers to increase health and longevity.

Much research goes into every ingredient and the healing power that it possesses in their meal preparation. They use ginger frequently for its healing power of upset stomachs or an aid to curb colds, not just a flavorful additive.

Authentic Chinese food is known to be the healthiest in the world. You will never find meats high in saturated fat or find any original Chinese cook using processed ingredients.

With the use of very little meat, every meal is positioned; marinated and spiced in such a way that one could never tell that the meat is scarce. Cream, butter or cheese that is high in milk-fat is not used in any form of Chinese cuisine. Fried Chinese food is prepared in polyunsaturated oils unlike the vegetable oil that Westerners use in deep-frying.

The Chinese are well known for their proverbs and sayings. In specifying the different regions of Chinese cuisine, this is a favorite, “East is sweet, South is salty, West is sour, North is spicy.”

Better eating is something that everyone should learn and the Chinese method of cooking, whether Confucius or Tao, is a great place to start. The tantalizing taste is an awesome way to get hooked on your health.