Tradition. Jews love their Traditions. Almost as much as they love Chinese food!!? That’s debatable. Oh, Jews like a good debate too. Let’s combine all that together. Traditions; Chinese food; Traditional Chinese food. Now we are getting somewhere. But, let’s really go places to get to heart of the matter at hand. Especially if you’re holding a pair of chopsticks in said hand. Let us take you on a virtual trip to China, where we will get the real inside scoop on traditional and authentic Chinese food. Fasten your seat belts. We are about to take off!
No trip to China would be complete without getting a real taste of the wealth of foods on offer. Chinese food is famous all around the world, and not without reason. If you’re visiting China you’ll get the opportunity to try one of the world’s most famous cuisines in its traditional way. No one could argue with the fact that it’s also the best way.
If you’re wondering what to expect from traditional Chinese food then forget what you’ve experienced in your own country. The real food of China is so much better that foreign imitations pale in comparison. Many Western dishes have been tailored to meet the available ingredients, or in some cases the true essence of the recipe has been lost over numerous years and translations. While sweet and sour is a popular dish in the West, many Chinese chefs wouldn’t even dream of cooking it. While sweet and sour still exists in China it’s nothing like the sweet and sour that we experience in Western restaurants.
China has a very long history rich with tradition. It is this tradition and history which has given China such a wonderfully rich and diverse cuisine. While civilization in China started at least 7000 years ago records do not date back this far. What archaeology have shown though is that food has always had a central role in the lives of Chinese people. While the food lacked the sophistication of today’s cooking there was already a deep consideration for healthy eating.
The Chinese Dynasties saw a huge range of ideas develop alongside an increasing variety of foods. Trade allowed for many more ingredients to be used and the wealth that such trade led to also gave chefs a chance to develop their skills and make money doing so. The best chefs competed with each other for royal approval, hoping to be appointed as royal chefs. The best dishes created by the chefs combined fine food and health benefits for which they received rich rewards.
Those dishes which became most popular became food that the wealthiest across China dined upon. Over time lodges, in which travelers stayed, became more and more akin to modern-day restaurants and these made the foods which were originally the preserve of the royal and wealthy Chinese available to all. Thanks to modern transportation, regional specialties are available all across China, giving an even greater variety of flavors from the vast Chinese country. And back home, thanks to The Chinese Quest, we can tell you where to find the best, most authentic, Chinese food on Long Island and New York City.
Chinese food is not only famous for its flavor but also for its names. With dishes such as “Phoenix and Dragon” or “Ants Climbing on Trees”, or our favorite, “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup“, much fun can be had in discovering the legends behind the names over a good meal. What’s the name of your favorite Chinese dish? Please post a comment!
One difficulty many foreigners have with ordering Chinese food is the language barrier. Chinese menus are written in Chinese characters – a notoriously difficult language which takes a long time to learn. If you have Chinese friends it’s worth asking them to translate. Otherwise you can simply point at what other diners are eating and try food in that way. Better yet, read our article on how to “Order Chinese Food Like a Boss“!
Humbly submitted for your approval,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)
Kentaro Konikas contributed to this article.