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Confucius’s Philosophy on Food
Confucian philosophy gives a lot of importance to the art of cooking and enjoyment of foods in life. He developed standards for dining and called cooking as an art. Some of his mannerisms like always serve food in small or chopped pieces, never keep knives on table as it shows disrespect towards your guests, maintaining complete silence during the time of meals etc. are still obeyed in China.
It is said that Confucius helped to bring perfect taste to Chinese food by developing proper cooking techniques. His basic idea behind cooking was that the taste of any dish depends on proper mixing of all of its ingredients and condiments. Taste of individual elements does not have a great importance in food but it is the fine blending that result to great taste in food. Blending of food also results to harmony and it is an important part because without harmony foods can not taste good. Ginger has acquired a favorite place in Confucius food culture as it helps to reduce the internal heat and fever of the body and it helps in digestion.
He had also given utmost importance to color and texture of food. If the food is not properly cooked and it does not get proper color then that food should not be consumed. He also emphasized in maintaining hygiene in foods and had defined criteria to taste hygienic quality of foods. To avoid overeating, he said to eat only at meal time. Confucius gives more priority to vegetables as compared to meats.
The Philosophy of Confucius is deeply reflected in Chinese food culture and forms a basic part of Chinese food culture. And he had some pretty wise sayings too:
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
It is better to fart, and bear the shame than hold it in, and bear the pain.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Come to think of it, these would made good fortune cookies too!
What are some of your favorite sayings?
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)
P.S. BTW, one of those sayings above cannot be attributed to Confucius. Can you identify which one?