Chinese cuisine is characterized by a rich assortment, fresh products, fresh meat and high culinary skills. Real Chinese cuisine is a strict combination of yin and yang, as well as the harmony of incongruous, in the European view, tastes and aromas.
The most common cuisine – Guangdong-is famous for sweet and sour dishes, Sichuan-spicy gravies, one of the popular dishes “Yuxiang zhousi” – meat with fish flavor. The vegetarian cuisine is absolutely unique, imitating meat and fish dishes made from soy.
The masterpiece of the capital’s chefs is the Peking duck, which is prepared for more than 24 hours in a special temperature regime. Numerous types of dumplings are very popular in China. Be sure to take part in the”Dumpling Banquet”.
The most exotic dishes are swallow’s nest soup, fried bear palms and “Lunhudou” (Fight of the dragon with the tiger), which is prepared from a vegetarian leopard cat and a snake.
The order of serving dishes differs from the European one: first cold appetizers are served, then hot dishes, rice, and finally soup is served. Instead of bread, rice is served, which is recommended to be eaten together with hot dishes. Soy, the main meat substitute on the Chinese table, is also used to prepare butter, soy milk, salted soy paste, doufu cottage cheese and numerous sauces.
No less popular are products made of flour and dough – dozens of varieties of noodles and vermicelli, tortillas and bread, dumplings and ravioli, dumplings “mantou” and pies “baozi”, “wontons” and numerous products in batter. A huge role is played by vegetables, which in various combinations are served to many dishes, as well as marinated, salted in soy sauce, fermented and dried. Especially popular are young bamboo shoots (served in boiled form, side dishes and as an independent snack), all kinds of cabbage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radish of different varieties, green onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, spinach and green bean pods. Meat is used much less often. The most widely used are pork and poultry, as well as fish and seafood, again subjected to special processing. Milk and fermented milk products are almost not used.
In China, it is customary to eat with chopsticks, but if you wish, you will be given cutlery. In large and medium-sized cities, snack bars have developed rapidly in recent years. Along with Chinese eateries, there are “McDonalds”, “Kentucky chickens”, “Pizzerias”, etc.It is recommended to visit restaurants that have a special license to serve foreign tourists, which is posted in a prominent place and written in English.
The most common drink in China is green tea, which is drunk very hot and almost without sugar. There are a huge number of varieties of green tea grown in different provinces, each of which has a special color set and aroma. Only national minorities drink black tea. The Chinese tea ceremony “gongfu-cha” in the complexity of the ritual can compete with the famous Japanese.
Vodka is a traditional drink in China, but it is usually infused with various ingredients, is unusual in taste and has a specific smell, although it is quite strong. Very widely distributed light and strong rice beer – quite cheap and high-quality. The best varieties are considered “Qingdao” and “Wu Xing”.