Travelling all around the World is a really wonderful experience especially in China. Indeed, the Mainland is the world’s largest country. Moreover, everyday you can discover new landscapes, customs and even local foods. Therefore, when you visit a new country, it can be difficult to eat the local food mainly in China where you can find special dishes you don’t know. Also, be careful because you can be surprised and totally hate what restaurants offer you to eat. While China is very special regarding meals, don’t be afraid, Chinese people eat well, you only have to be informed about what you can eat without hesitating. Drinking and eating in China is part of your pleasant cultural experience.
Be careful with the tap water! Indeed, it is not drinkable. Consequently, don’t be surprised when you will go to the restaurant and waiters will offer you boiled water or tea. Moreover, Chinese always take a gourd they fill anywhere including at home, at work and even at restaurants.
In addition, if you fed up with boiled water or Chinese tea, you can drink the most famous Chinese beer which is the Tsingtao. This famous drink is particularly famous in the big cities such as Shanghai or Beijing. Otherwise, the wine culture has become very popular in the Mainland especially because there are more and more expats in China which have influenced Chinese’s behaviour regarding the Western beverage. During few years, wine had been at unaffordable prices in China. However, nowadays, Chinese consumers have shifting expectation. Indeed, they want more luxury products and the French and Italian wines are part of this new trend.
Note : Be aware of ice made from tap water.
If you visit few Chinese provinces, you will every time notice different specialities. Thus, there are four kind of predominant foods in China including the North of Beijing where dishes are saltier, the South of Guangzhou where it is sweeter, the East of Shanghai where it is sourer and in the West of Sichuan where you won’t have to go there if you don’t like the spicy dishes. Then, in the northern hald, the food is focus on wheat compared to the South where you will further eat rice. Finally, Chinese don’t use an oven to cook, that’s why the bread is steamed or fried with less thick and wide patties.
According to a lot of people, breakfast is the favorite meal in Chinese cooking. For the larger part of Chinese population, the breakfast is eaten early in the countryside which means between 5 and 7 o’clock and is a hearty meal. Thus, you can eat salty Bao-dze which is rice paste stuffed with meat, leeks and black fungus. Sometimes, Boad-dze can be sweety which is bean paste and sweety cheese. Then, you could try ravioli if like crab meat mixed with leeks and mushrooms or long donuts, kind of samosas (vegetables or meat) with rice porridge. Finally, Chinese are huge eggs’ consumers and you will often see them eating a boiled egg with soup for the breakfast.
For the lunch, the Chinese still Diners tuck, unlike the breakfast and dinner can be on the go in the street. Indeed, at the table, the custom is to order several dishes and share everything. You can taste a bowl for soup and a bowl of rice, a glass and a plate. Thus, you will be paid a charge of one yuan for this kind of restaurants. The most of dishes are served in dishes except for rice and soup where you can eat it in bowls. The Chinese don't like wasting food and do not hesitate to ask for " doggy bags " if necessary.
As for the breakfast, dinner can be eat in the street, sitting, or in a restaurant.
Traditionally the Chinese do not celebrate their birthday with a cake and candles, but by eating an extra egg, especially in the countryside. Therefore, Western customs have influenced China, and the mainland now offers pastries which are springing up all over the country and offer large cream cakes.
Note : Eating loudly, and with his mouth open can be considered rude in the West.
The Chinese are big consumers of takeaway food, eating on the street or at home.
To sum up, in China, you don’t use forks and knives to eat, but chopsticks are Chinese’s favorite ones. Moreover, at the beginning, it is really difficult for foreigners to use these tools and it is very funny for Chinese people to see Western ones who are trying to eat with chopsticks. Therefore, don’t be shy, the main feature is that enjoy your trip by discovering wonderful places, landscapes and eating local food which is a huge part of the Chinese culture.