Thursday, July 31, 2008

Enjoying Real Chinese Food

Have you ever tried Chinese food? No, I mean the authentic cuisine that people of the Republic of China eat. Here in the United States, we get a very tame version of the kind of food that Chinese residents regularly enjoy. While our corner take-out restaurant offers Kung Pao Chicken and Egg rolls, in China, people eat cockroaches, shark fins and delicate organs. It seems that our Western stomachs might not handle this fare too well.

Authentic Chinese food is certainly worth tasting, particularly if you are going to visit the 2008 Olympic Games. Of course, you will have to learn how to use chopsticks, as well. There are 8 major Chinese cuisines, organized by region. Each has a distinct style and flavor. It is quite unlike the popular Americanized fare with which you are probably familiar. Chinese restaurants in the United States rarely, if ever, distinguish their entrees by region.

Among other things, real Chinese food is not as battered and deep-fried as the offerings here in the States. In addition, meats can be quite unique, ranging from squirrel to pig brains. You won't find that in a little white take-out box! Finally, you may be wondering about whether Chinese people actually eat dogs and cats. Well, you should click here for a primer on Chinese food. This engaging article includes tips on how to use chopsticks so that you can not only eat what the locals enjoy, but also in a similar manner.

To end your meal, you may be craving a fortune cookie. But not so fast. This little treat is most certainly not an authentic Chinese food tradition. It most likely had its beginnings in a Japanese restaurant in the United States! Nonetheless, you can still enjoy the thrill of a little white piece of paper in a folded sweet shell. The hard cookies are ubiquitous. To quote my last fortune... You will have a long and prosperous life. If you eat plenty of real Chinese food!


  1. Yes, having been raised in this country but Chinese by birth, I've seen "both sides of the fence" - what is considered Chinese food here in the states and the more authentic wide range of possibilities from the homeland.

    My food travel blog covers this a bit - I plan to add more in the future.

    Recently visited Monterey Park area - about 10 minutes east of LA. This is a mecca of Asian foods - from China down to Vietnam.

    John Chang

  2. Hi John, thank you for your information. It is nice to hear from someone with a cultural connection. Nice blog!