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The Geography of Diet - Essay Example

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Running Head: FOOD, PLACE AND IDENTITY Food Place and Identity: The Geography of Diet A Case study of China [Name] [Course] [Professor] [Date] The evolution of mankind has given birth to various innovative things and they have improvised over time. If contribution of man towards science and technology is commendable then one should not overlook the aspect of food and its development over the years…
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Download file to see previous pages One can observe a connection between ethnicity and similarity in food patterns. Food patterns are often seen as symbols of cultural identity. The affinity or dislike for a food varies across regions on the basis of origin (Food - Food And Culture, n.d). The net result is a wide platter of food for the people across the globe. The paper undertakes a study of the food culture in China. China and their cuisine China is one of the emerging economies of the world and it has a very strong economic base. The country has a large population with different ethnic groups but the Han Chinese constitutes the major group. Apart from them there are Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, and others. The country has a rich historical background which dates back to 3500 years and it boasts of being the oldest civilizations of the world (China, 2011). As the economy is so diverse it is natural that food habits of the people will also vary and accordingly the world was presented with a new type of cuisine in their platter known as the Chinese food. The need to fulfill the growing population’s demand for food led to the discovery of dishes using new ingredients. Scarcity of meat made them adapt new eating habits which included a combination of small amount of meat and more rice and noodles. Consumption of vegetables increased and they were stir fried to conserve fuel. (Map of China, n.d.) Chinese also discovered new dishes during famines. Shortages of food compelled the population to eat anything that is edible to survive. Ingredients such as fungus, lily buds, different types of fruit and vegetable peels and shark fins were used to make delicacies in China. Unlike the dishes made in Western style, cooking of Chinese food involves both meat and vegetables. This makes the amount of calorie and fats very less and also there is no loss of vitamins and minerals. The differences in food across regions became more prominent when there was invasion from the neighboring countries and the outcome was exchange of cooking styles and customs (Coman, 2007, pp.2-3). Foundation of Chinese cuisine Chinese cuisine like their philosophy is based on “Daoist principles of opposition and change” (Kuiper, 2010, p.40). One can find that there is a balance between hot and cold, spicy and mild. Cooking in the Sichuan province is characterized by the use of hot peppers whereas one would find the use of fresh ingredients more common in the southern interior part of China. Subtle flavors and fresh vegetables are synonymous with Cantonese cooking. Foods may differ across regions but they all are viewed as an “accompaniment” to grains which is the staple Chinese diet. It is also believed that Chinese cuisine contains a high expression of “gastronomic art” (Kuiper, 2010, p.40). In ancient China one would find that a great emphasis was given to service and preparation. Supply of food in ancient time was mostly ensured through hunting and foraging. Vegetables to meat, everything was found on the Chinese platter in ancient time also. The emergence of agriculture led the development of different styles of food according to the natural resources that was available. Thus there was the emergence of different cooking styles and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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