Looking to cook Chinese food? Check out our online store - click here
Sauces - Bean Sauce,
Soy Sauce, Sweet Bean Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Hot Bean Sauce, Szechuan Sauce, Sweet Sauce,
Chili sauce, Hot Garlic Sauce, Oyster Sauce,
Flavorings - Szechuan Chilies, Sesame Oil, Garlic, Ginger, Straw Mushroom, Chinese Cooking
Wine, Dried Sichuan Chilies, Five Spice Powder, Hot Pepper Oil, Rice Vinegar, Star Anise,
Natural Cane Sugar
Cooking Oil - peanut oil is mostly used. Corn, sunflower oil are also used.
Pantry staples - Rice, Beans, Spices
Chinese Culinary History
Photographer: ManYee DeSandies ~ Beautifully presented
dish of thousand year old eggs
The Chinese nation has a civilized history of
5,000 years and Chinese cuisine has evolved over time.
Its culinary techniques, preparation, serving and appreciation of food have been
developed to the highest level. Cooking has occupied an important position in Chinese
culture throughout its history. Chinese culture considers cooking an art and a science.
As early as the 7th century B.C. Chinese cuisine began to be
separated as Southern and Northern cuisines. In general, the southern dishes emphasize
freshness and tenderness. Northern dishes, due to its colder climate, have more fat and
garlic which is offset with vinegar. During the period of the Tang (618-907 A.D.) and the
Song(960-1279 A.D.) dynasties, people went in a great deal for nutritional medical value
of different plants: fungus(mushrooms), herbs, vegetables. At this time "medicinal
food" for prevention and cure of diseases, for overall health became important.
dreamed about and fussed about food. He
emphasized the art of cooking and enjoyment of life. He showed people how they could
cultivate their palate and delight their senses. The
art of cooking encompassed more than food. Culinary
etiquette, social sharing of food, presentation and combining of tastes and textures was
important in this school.
established culinary standards and proper table etiquette. Most of these are still
considered to be the standards of today. The tradition of cutting foods into bite size
pieces during preparation and not at the table is unique to the Chinese culture (so one
did not need any knives on the table).
art of food was also in the eating. Sharing
food with friends and family is an important part of Chinese culinary tradition. To the Chinese, food and friends are inseparable.
A gathering without food is considered incomplete and improper. Confucius described that
enjoyment of food as one of the beautiful and gentle things which contribute to the peace
and harmony of society.
taught that while maintaining the itegrity of the individual food it is important to blend
taste and textures and the use of condiments to give the palette the whole experience. He
also stressed the use of color and aroma in the presentation of the dish.
certainly Confucianism helped elevate cooking from a daily and repetitive task to a
satisfying art form.
emerged in 500 B.C. and shaped Chinese cuisine by emphasizing the need to study the life
giving properties of food. Taoism studied the
effects (both physical and psychological) of foods and prepared dishes. It concerned itself with the nourishment of the
body, prevention of disease and the search for longevity.
Over the centuries the Chinese have studied
plants, roots, herbs, fungus and seeds to find their healthful properties. They discovered their medicinal value and how not
to destroy this value during cooking. They
explored seasonal cooking and understood the elements found in each ingredient.
Their contributions have resulted in
Chinese cuisine embracing lots of vegetables, grains, herbs and cooking with little fat. Traditional Chinese cuisine is low-calorie and
low-fat. Food is cooked using
poly-unsaturated oils, and milk, cream, butter and cheese are avoided. Meats are used as flavorings and condiments and
seasonings are used to satisfy the taste buds.
Cook Books and their Reviews
BACK TO MAIN CLASS MENU
1990 to 2012 - Kavita Mehta. All Rights Reserved.
- Indian grocery online - Thai
grocery online - Japan
grocery online - Chinese
grocery online - Persian
grocery online - Greek