How Food Plays a Role in Chinese Culture for Kids

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Published: 29th October 2012
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Just like any other culture, food is very big in the Chinese culture for kids and adults alike. Some people know about the food that is in the Chinese culture because of the various Chinese restaurants that are around. You will see many different types of food. Some foods that you might see include rice, egg rolls, sushi, lo mien, chicken on a stick, different soups, sweet and sour chicken, and much, much more.

You probably think that in or with almost every dish that the Chinese have rice. Rice was the first grain farmed in China. Farming rice in China dates back to as early as around 5,000 B.C. How people know that rice dates that far back is because archaeologists have found evidence of rice in different objects that they found during excavations from period. Rice has always been made the same way - boiling the rice in water - but some people boil it in wine instead. Rice is not farmed in the northern part of China because that part of China is much colder and drier.

Even though rice is not farmed in northern part of China, people in the northern part of China are able to farm sorghum and wild millet. That region primarily eats millet instead of rice. Millet is cooked almost the same way as rice, in water, but it turns into a like-porridge food.

Another food that is popular with the Chinese culture for kids and adults alike is tea . Many people may drink tea, but may not realize that it grows wild China. It was around 3,000 B.C., possibly even earlier, when people started drinking tea in China. It was not long before everyone else around the world started drinking.

You might see food from the Chinese culture for kidsí that contains wheat, and while you may not know it, wheat actually is native to China. However, wheat did not reach China until the Shang Dynasty, which was around 1,500 B.C. When wheat came to China, it was brought to the northern part of China, coming from West Asia. Wheat was first made like millet, and had a consistency similar to that of Cream of Wheat.

Millet, rice, sorghum and wheat are the main carbohydrates in China. The people that live in the northern part of China eat mainly millet, sorghum, and wheat. While the southern part of China eats mainly rice. People in China eat soybean oil that comes from crushed soybeans. People that are poor in China mainly only eat the above foods, and hardly ever eat fruit or meat.

When people are able to grow or buy vegetables, they are able to put them in with their rice. Some vegetables that they would put in their rice would be bok choy or cucumbers. The fruits that they mainly eat are apricots, lemons, peaches, and oranges. Some spices that they mainly use in the food that we like to eat as well are anise and ginger. A little unknown fact about anise is that Americans use it to make licorice.

The Chinese do eat meat, but primarily only on special occasions. However, they do not eat much meat when they do; they tend to put only small bits of meat into their rice. Around 5,500 B.C., people from China began eating domesticated chicken that came from Thailand.

Then, around either 4,000 B.C. or 3,000 B.C., they started to eat pork, which is native to China. Finally, around 4,000 B.C. cattle and sheep came to China from West Asia. Since meat is so expensive, not many people eat meat; instead they eat bean curd and tofu to give their bodies the much needed protein that is needed to survive.

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