Down the Ages – The Rich History Of Chinese Cooking

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Written By MartinCorbett

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One of the most varied and popular styles of cooking is contained in the History of Chinese cooking, which is also reflective of the cultural fact that China is a country where preparation, presentation and sharing a meal is all a significant part of their ethos, thus a rich and diverse style is present in all dishes prepared there. Over the years, this history of Chinese cooking has also been studied as part of American Chinese culture that considers this an art.

As far as the culinary skills related to the history of Chinese cooking is concerned, these have been developed over the years and adapted to suit the tastes of individual lovers of Chinese cuisine besides the nation that is practicing the art. Only after the period, 1122-249 before Christ, was Chinese cooking given the status of an art-form in specialty cuisine and then onwards, the country was regarded as a center for high quality gourmet cuisine.

The two predominant schools of thought in Chinese traditions included Taoism and Confucianism and these were responsible for the rise of interest in the culinary arts down the lane of Chinese history. The History of Chinese cooking was notably worthy of record during the time of Confucius, who taught the people the philosophy behind a new thought process, called Confucianism, which was a Chinese ethical way of beliefs. He had an innate and abiding love for the art of food preparation and emphasized the use of dining etiquette and set common standards of social behavior in respect to the propagating the culinary arts. These principles laid down by him so many hundreds of years ago still find followers the world over and like he said, good Chinese cooking completely depends on different condiments and elements used in cooking the dish, this balance is still given as much importance in selection of ingredients even today as flavor decides Chinese cooking recipes even today.

Taoism worked on the principles of cleansing aspect of food and cuisine methodology, which meant that a person needs to nurture the body in order to live a healthy and long life, thus the history of Chinese cooking underwent a sea change. This included knowledge of dietary fibers in vegetables, which the followers of this system believed got destroyed by over cooking or wrong cooking. The medical value of certain food stuff such as ginger, a popular condiment, effective in easing stomach problems as a remedy for curing a cold, were also discovered. The main aspects recorded in the history of Chinese cooking is that typically these dishes were low-calorie and low-fat variations to greasy cooking methods, considered unhealthy for longevity and wellness. Chopsticks were preferred to knives and forks, which were considered a symbol of violence and food was cooked in poly-unsaturated oils always; dairy products (cheese, butter, milk and cream besides oil) were not part of the daily Chinese diet.

Thus, we find that Chinese cooking style most loved in the US is actually a variation to the traditional history of Chinese cooking methods and has filtered out much of the conventional cultural, religious and economic guidelines it had once used as a base.