All Chinese chefs, whether it be at home or in professional employment, strive for harmony of sight, smell, taste and texture so that each individual dish has its unique features and flavours highlighted.
However many dishes the meal consists of, in Chinese cuisine the flavours must not overpower one another, though they must be subtle enough to satisfy the tastes of those dining.
As part of a Chinese diet, once the meal has been cooked it is served all at once, food is eaten with chopsticks and soup, which also acts as a beverage, is drunk with a large ladle like spoon.
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A typical meal includes rice, noodles, bread or pancakes, a meat dish, a vegetable dish and a soup. Eating Chinese style is well established in the West and is a rewarding way to eat for many reasons. For one thing eating together really does mean sharing food since all diners eat cai (roughly translated as vegetables) from communal bowls, making it much more of a social event than the Western style of eating. Also, people can eat as much or as little as they want from each bowl, according to their own taste.
Due to the diversity of the climate, products and customs of the people, in Chinese diets there are vastly different food styles and tastes depending on the region. Rice is the main source of nutrition in China as it is the best way to intake a source of nutritionally balanced calories to help sustain the appetite during the day.
According to Nationmaster statistics, obesity is not a concern for China as it does not register in the top 29 countries with the highest obesity rates. Considering the overwhelming size of China ’s population in relation to their obesity rate, it would seem we could benefit greatly from incorporating elements of the Chinese diet into our own eating habits.