Experiences - Asia

Interesting Chinese Food Facts

Did you know that although Chop Suey originated in America, it was actually invented by Chinese immigrants in America? Or that the Chinese have their tea throughout the day, and not just in the evening, or as part of one specific meal?

A large part of Chinese culture is steeped in how they take their food, what they call certain dishes, and why they only eat from the plate on their immediate side (eating from the plate in front of them is considered impolite).

Stir-fry Asian Wong Bok Cabbage with Chinese Saucage

There are many things about Chinese food that will surprise and delight you. Here are six such interesting Chinese food facts.

1. Soupy ending:

Unlike in most world cuisines, the soup is part of the last course in Chinese cuisine. The Chinese say that it allows for better digestion, especially after an entrée of pork or duck.

2. Frozen secret:

Ice cream is believed to have originated in China around 2000 BC. Many accounts left by historians suggest that an emperor enjoyed ice cream and kept it a royal secret until Marco Polo visited China and took the frozen food to Italy.

3. Ancient tapas:

Most of ancient Chinese food was prepared in bite-sized pieces, so they could be picked and eaten with chopsticks. This was because it was considered inappropriate to use forks and knives on the table as these instruments were often used as weapons.

4. Right way to start the day:

A traditional Chinese list of breakfast must-eats consists of rice, noodle rolls, porridge, bread or fried pancakes served with tea. Soy milk is also part of the platter.

5. Honourable head:

When whole fish or poultry such as chicken or duck is served, the head of the animal is usually directed to the guest of honour as a sign of respect.


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