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One bite of China

Meiling Liu

I asked my students what was the most challenging experience when they first arrived in China and all of them said it was food. Indeed, you cannot change your palate even when you have changed your nationality and your face. I still clearly remember how much excited I was when I smelled the steamed rice after I had been only eating hamburger for a month!

Needless to say, dietary culture is very important in every country, especially in China. We usually plan to have big dinner on lots of occasions, holidays, reunion, birthday, celebration of month-old baby, celebration of 100th day-baby, housewarming, promotion, child’s success to enter a good school, to extend gratitude to others, to welcome a relative or a friend from other city, or when we are happy or when we are sad. The list can go on!

You wouldn’t imagine how diverse Chinese food is until you come to China and explore it yourself. Chinese cuisines are famous for its color, flavor and taste. Moreover, the name of Chinese dish is also fascinating and mysterious. Sometimes, you never know what it is by reading the dish’s name, which challenges foreigners the most when ordering food. Do you know what food are listed below?

佛(fó)跳(tiào)墙(qiáng)

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

叫(jiào)花(huā)鸡(jī)

Beggar’s Chicken

麻(má)婆(pó)豆(dòu)腐(fu)

Mapo Tofu

*Mapo was a woman with pockmarked face.

东(dōng)坡(pō)肉(ròu)

Dongpo Pork

*Dongpo was a famous poet in ancient China.

红(hóng)烧(shāo)狮(shī)子(zi)头(tóu)

Braised Lion Head

蚂(mǎ)蚁(yǐ)上(shàng)树(shù)

Ants Climbing a Tree

驴(lǘ)打(dǎ)滚(gǔn)

Rolling Donkey

I believe you have figured out what these dishes are by seeing the pictures and you’ve probably guessed the stories behind each yummy dish. These are the very famous dishes or snacks in different parts of China. Don’t hesitate to try them! You’ll miss one half of your life if you won’t!

If you are afraid of eating Chinese food every day, then nothing to worry about if you are in Shanghai. You can find international cuisines from different parts of the world in just one city. If you are a “foodie adventurer” and willing to try new things, Chinese cuisine will definitely satisfy your food cravings and quench your curiosity!

Note: Some photos are from Internet.

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