Do you really know Chinese food?


Xiaoying Mei, Reporter

Did you ever feel like eating Chinese food, but you felt confused when you walked into Chinatown? “Oh, no. I have no idea what to eat. Why do they have so many kinds of food?!” No worries. That’s why I am here— to briefly share with you a quick knowledge of Chinese food.

Chinese food has developed for thousands of years- following the pace of Chinese culture. Affected by geography, religion, and climate, there are vast regional differences between the types of foods from the northern, southern, western, and eastern provinces. You might have heard that rice is a typical symbol in Chinese food. However, it is actually the preference of southern people in China. In the north, climate and soil are suitable for the growing of wheat, so their staple food is made of wheat or flour, such as noodles and bread. When it comes to cooking styles, people in the north focus on the dressing for food including more spicy or sour flavors, while the south focuses on the original flavor and exquisite appearance of the food. In addition, food in the north is famous for its cooking of meat such as Peking duck, stewed pork or mutton. Food in the south is more popular in the cooking of vegetables and seafood.

In New York City, there are various Chinese restaurants such as Dim Sum, Peking Duck House, Xi’an Famous Foods and Shanghai Cuisine. So where do they belong to? Xi’an Famous Foods comes from the ancient capital Xi’an, a city in the mid-north of China. It gathers the typical features of the northern foods of China with the cooking of noodles, mutton and various dressing. Dim Sum is a typical food in Guangdong province in southern China. It is like the Chinese brunch on weekends in the south. However, people seem to treat it as normal meal in the United States, so that people could also eat it for lunch or afternoon refreshments.(Tip: Steamed shrimp dumpling is one of the famous dishes in Dim Sum). What about Shanghai Cuisine? Most of the menu is soup dumplings, crispy whole fish, and cold sesame noodles.

In short, there are a variety of Chinese foods. You have to decide what kind of flavor you prefer the most, but if you want to eat many kinds of Chinese foods in China, Shanghai would be your best option. If you want to eat the best southern foods in China, you should definitely go to Guangzhou.