[Meeting China] Traditional Food in Beijing
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Today's topic: Traditional Food in Beijing
There is a saying popular in China:
The Chinese eat everything with four legs, except tables, and everything that flies, except airplanes.
Chinese food is famous all over the world, but you may be shocked by its surprising range and variety of ingredients if you’ve only eaten in Chinese restaurant abroad. Chinese food has countless delicious and fantastic dishes. And people from different areas have different cuisine types, which can be bland, sweet, salty, spicy, or sour. China can be divided into several regions with distinct styles of cooking. The ingredients used are based on the natural and agricultural products of each region.
Today we are going to introduce traditional snacks in Beijing. Here is a video shot by two foreign guys in China. Let’s check it out!!!
10 Facts You May Not Know About Eating in China
Here are some tips:
Different countries have different eating customs. You may have tasted Chinese food in your country, but things are different in China.
Chinese use chopsticks to pick up food.
1. Chinese use chopsticks to pick up food, not knives and forks. So you should learn how to use them and to learn about chopstick taboos.
2. Wheat noodles are the main staple diet in northern China, while rice is the main staple in the south. Restaurants in southern China also offer noodles, but they are usually rice noodles.
3. Rice is served separately (in shared meals): in small bowls. Meat/vegetable dishes are served on plates or in bigger bowls, placed in the middle for everyone to share. It's not one plate each, like in the West (unless eating fast food)!
4. Chinese cuisine varies across China. There are many regional cuisines with different flavors: spicy, sweet, sour, hearty, etc. Read more about China's regional cuisines
Round table with lazy susan in the middle
5. Restaurants usually provide a round table for more than four persons. There may be a tempered glass lazy susan in the middle of the table, which swivels round enabling you to reach each dish easily.
6. Ingredients of Chinese food are various and sometimes shocking to foreigners (frogs, chickens' feet, pigs' ears, intestines, dog meat, etc.).
7. There are usually no salt or peppershakers, or bottles of tomato sauce on the table. But in compensation you may find bottles of soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste.
Popular hot pot restaurants
8. Some Chinese restaurants can be quite noisy and smoky where people don't control their talking volume or smoking; though bans on smoking in public places have recently been implemented in some areas.
9. Tips are not expected in Chinese restaurants. The service fee is included in the food prices.
10. If the Chinese friend you are eating with put food on your plate, it's to show closeness and friendliness, not because they don't want it, or think you can't do it yourself. Nowadays this happens more often at family meals, where the young pass on food to their elders to show respect.