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Chinese Food Culture and History Articles

Who hasn’t eaten Chinese food? The distinctive aromatic blend of soy sauce, ginger, and spring onions has wafted into every corner of the globe. Yet, how much do we really know about the 4,000-year-old cuisine that sustains 1.3 billion people in China, that is the most sophisticated, and perhaps, the scariest in the world? Browse our collection of stories that cover Chinese cuisine history, culture, interesting facts and folklore, quotations and cooking techniques.


Chinese Food Culture

Fried rice origin and history.

Great Leftovers
The humble history of fried rice, the Chinese leftovers dish that conquered the world. This quick, cheap and tasty dish is endlessly adaptable and available everywhere.

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Chinese Cooking and Eating Tips
Some basic advice picked up along the culinary way in China and Taiwan.

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Chinese Food Quotations
Wit, wisdom and observation on Chinese cuisine. Quotes, idioms, proverbs and sayings from philosophers, writers and others, both ancient and modern.

Typical Taiwan meal

Introducing Taiwan Food
Learn about Taiwan cuisine. Is it the same as the food in China? Find out about food and cooking of the island nation once known as Formosa.

Tea cannisters in tea shop

Introduction to Chinese Tea
Tea has been around in China for 2,000 years, since the Han Dynasty. In this brief overview we look at what tea is, how it is grown, processed, and consumed, its health benefits, and how it has influenced our language.

Tofu and soybeans on a wooden cutting board

Chinese Soy Products
In China, the soybean is an important source of protein, and absolutely essential to the favour of Chinese cuisine. Learn about the soy foods essential to Chinese cooking.

Taiwan deep-fried stinky tofu

Deliciously Malodorous
Notorious Chinese stinky tofu: love it or hate it, there’s no ignoring its extraordinary reeking power. If smells could kill … This bean curd is to China and Taiwan what the durian is to southeast Asia. 

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Bizarre Foods TV Taiwan Episode
Eating ‘black bone’ rooster balls and visiting a Chinese medicine pharmacy with Andrew Zimmern in Taipei.

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Bizarre Foods Taiwan: Behind the Scenes
A day on location filming the Bizarre Foods TV program in Taipei with Andrew Zimmern.


Chinese Food History

A teacup (gaiwan) with green tea

Chinese Tea History
A potted history of tea: how it emerged in China and gradually went on to saturate half the world.

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Soy Story: the History of the Soybean
From wild vine to soy burger: how the soybean evolved in China to become one of the most versatile foods on the planet: tofu, soy sauce, sprouts, etc.

Mother pig suckling piglets

Why China is a Nation of Pork Eaters
All through their history, Chinese have been dedicated eaters of pork – a brief historical look at the importance of the pig in Chinese cuisine.

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Chinese Food History Timeline
A chronology of Chinese cuisine from ancient times, through the many dynasties, to the modern period and the food that is cooked and eaten in China today.

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Chinese Dynasty Timeline
A quick, chronological look at Chinese history. A basic outline of the most important dynasties.