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Chinese food. Food Customs and Symbolism (Essay Sample)

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Food Customs and Symbolism
Food Customs and Symbolism
Chinese Food
China has a rich history of food and each of the communities or regions in China has its own special type of food. Cuisine is one of the foods that are very unique in each of the China territories. A cuisine is a type of dish or food system that possesses a unique flavor and it features in a particular region. China is a multi-ethnic nation that has a vast territory and more than enough resources. Regional cuisines have become very popular after a long historical revolution under the influence of the climate, products, geographical environment, folk customs, cultural tradition, products and other factors. The most influential and important cuisines in the history of China include Chuan, Hui, Lu, Min, Su, Xiang, Yue, and Zhe Cuisines; they are popularly known as the Eight Major Cuisines (Cultural China 1).
Of great importance in this essay is the Sichuan Cuisine; the cuisine has a long history that dates back to the State of Shu. Sichuan Cuisine arose from the Sichuan province, a culturally important area in the central western part of China. The culture of this area was shaped close to the end of Shang Dynasty in the 15th century. The primary influence to the type of dishes was the climate of the area and it assisted in the shaping of the culinary traditions that were to emerge from the Sichuan province and find their way among the well-known international cuisines (Hawkins 1).
Sichuan province is humid and hot; from the history of this province, it has necessitated the preparation of foods in a way that differs significantly from the other regions of China. The Sichuan Cuisine is famously known for its spicy and hot dishes; however, this is not the main reason for its popularity. Regional Chinese cooking is based on the five essential taste sensations; sour, salty, sweet, pungent, and bitter. The balance of these five essential sensations in any of the dishes or the regional cuisines varies according to the needs and desires and specifically they are influenced by culture, food availability and climate. Sichuan Cuisine has a variety of spices and ingredients that are used to create these essential taste sensations. They include a variety of peppercorns, Sichuan peppers, and chili peppers that create a numbing sensation and a warm flavor. Sichuan Cuisine has a rich traditional flavor that stems from a hundred years culture and in part is shaped by the climate natural forces (Hawkins 1).
When people think of Sichuan food, the five elements of this food come into mind. The flavors found in Sichuan Cuisine were introduced 100 years ago and they were popular in the lower class of the society. The hot pepper is an important flavoring in the food and it was introduced in China 200 to 300 years ago. Historical research suggests that the Shu people liked sweet food. In the Jun Dynasty, pungent food was the favorite and it...
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