Cultural Information 1. A variety of foods most commonly eaten in China Cultural information1 In general, rice is the major food source for people from rice farming areas in southern China. In wheat farming areas in Northern China, people largely rely on flour based foods. Noodles are symbolic of long life and good health according to Chinese tradition. They come dry or fresh in a variety of sizes, shapes and textures and are often served in soups or fried as toppings. Tofu is another popular product often used as a meat or cheese substitute. It is a soy-based product which is highly nutritious, inexpensive and versatile. It has a high protein/fat ratio.
Cultural Information 2. Different regional styles of Chinese cuisine Cultural information1 A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine, but perhaps the best known and most influential are Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine. These styles are distinctive from one another due to factors such as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyles.
Cultural Information 3. Cooking techniques of Chinese cuisine Cultural information1 Braising and stewing, baking, scalding, and wrapping, etc. Basic methods of preservation such as drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.
Text Analysis Structural Analysis Rhetorical Features Global Reading - Main idea 1 This article, which is written by a foreigner, provides us with a foreign perspective to examine our culture, though on a seemingly trivial aspect — our food. But all elements of a culture are actually of equal significance, so any of them can serve as a stand we set our first step on. If you haven’t started your journey to discover your own culture, then let yourself be pushed by this article and take it as your first step. At the end of this journey, you may either love your culture more, or less, but one thing is sure, that your feeling toward your culture will be more real and will be based upon a much broadened view.
Text Analysis Structural Analysis Rhetorical Features This text can be divided into three parts: Structural analysis 1 Paragraphs 1-4: The first part discusses the difference in Chinese and Western attitudes towards food. Paragraphs 5-6: The second part explains how Chinese food has become an international food. Paragraphs 7-9: The third elaborates on the nature of Chinese food.
Text Analysis Structural Analysis Rhetorical Features The topic sentences of Paragraphs 7-9: Structural analysis 2 Paragraph 7: The traditional high-quality Chinese meal is a serious matter, fastidiously prepared and fastidiously enjoyed. Paragraph 8: The enjoyment must match the preparation. Paragraph 9: The smooth harmonies and piquant contrasts in Chinese food are an expression of basic assumptions about life itself.
Text Analysis Structural Analysis Rhetorical Features In this essay, alliteration is utilized here and there. Here are some examples: “Many people in the West are gourmets and others are gluttons, …”; “… to making you a saint or a sinner?”; “… everywhere from Hong Kong to Honolulu to Hoboken to Hudderfield.” The underlined parts show repetition of the first sound or letter of a succession of words, which helps to convey a sort of melodious quality, thus making those words sound more pleasing and impressive. Rhetorical Features 1
Text Analysis Structural Analysis Rhetorical Features Other examples of alliteration in the essay: Rhetorical Features 2 1. “… all these have become much more a part and parcel of the average person’s life …” (Paragraph 6) 2. “Meat and fish, solids and soups, sweet and sour sauces, …” (Paragraph 8)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1 Chinese Food T. McArthur “Few things in life are as positive as food, or are taken as intimately and completely by the individual. One can listen to music, but the sound may enter in one ear and go out through the other; one may listen to a lecture or conversation, and day-dream about many other things; one may attend to matters of business, and one’s heart or interest may be altogether elsewhere… 1
Detailed Reading In the matter of food and eating, however, one can hardly remain completely indifferent to what one is doing for long. How can one remain entirely indifferent to something which is going to enter one’s body and become part of oneself? How can one remain indifferent to something which will determine one’s physical strength and ultimately one’s spiritual and moral fibre and well-being?” — Kenneth Lo Detailed reading2
Detailed Reading This is an easy question for a Chinese to ask, but a Western might find it difficult to answer. Many people in the West are gourmets and others are gluttons, but scattered among them also is a large number of people who are apparently pretty indifferent to what goes into their stomachs, and so do not regard food as having any ultimate moral effect on them. How, they might ask, could eating a hamburger or drinking Coca Cola contribute anything to making you a saint or a sinner? For them, food is quite simply a fuel. 2 Detailed reading3
Detailed Reading Kenneth Lo, however, expresses a point of view that is profoundly different and typically Chinese, deriving from thousands of years of tradition. The London restaurateur Fu Tong, for example, quotes no less an authority than Confucius (the ancient sage known in Chinese as K’ung-Fu-Tzu) with regard to the primal importance of food. Food, said the sage, is the first happiness. Fu Tong adds: “ Food to my countrymen is one of the ecstasies of life, to be thought about in advance; to be smothered with loving care throughout its preparation; and to have time lavished on it in the final pleasure of eating.” 3 Detailed reading4
Detailed Reading Lo observes that when Westerners go to a restaurant they ask for a good table, which means a good position from which to see and be seen. They are usually there to be entertained socially — and also, incidentally, to eat. When the Chinese go to a restaurant, however, they ask for a small room with plain walls where they cannot be seen except by the members of their own party, where jackets can come off and they can proceed with the serious business which brought them there. The Chinese intentions are both honourable and whole-hearted: to eat with a capital E. 4 Detailed reading5
Detailed Reading Despite such a marked difference in attitudes towards what one consumes, there is no doubt that people in the West have come to regard the cuisine of China as something special. In fact, one can assert with some justice that Chinese food is, nowadays, the only truly international food. It is ubiquitous. Restaurants bedecked with dragons and delicate landscape — serving such exotica as Dim Sin Gai (sweet and sour chicken), Shao Shing soup, Chiao-Tzu and kuo-Tioh (northern style), and Ging Ai Kwar (steamed aubergines) — have sprung up everywhere from Hong Kong to Honolulu to Hoboken to Huddersfield. 5 Detailed reading6
Detailed Reading How did this come about? Certainly, a kind of Chinese food was exported to North America when many thousands of Chinese went there in the 19th century to work on such things as the U.S. railways. They settled on or near the west coast, where the famous — or infamous — “chop suey joints” grew up, with their rather inferior brand of Chinese cooking. The standard of the restaurants improved steadily in the United States, but Lo considers that the crucial factor in spreading this kind of food throughout the Western world was population 6 Detailed reading7
Detailed Reading pressure in the [then] British colony of Hong Kong, especially after 1950, which sent families out all over the world to seek their fortunes in the opening of restaurants. He adds, however, that this could not have happened if the world had not been interested in what the Hong Kong Chinese had to cook and sell. He detects an increase in sensuality in the Western world; “Colour, texture, movement, food, drink, and rock music — all these have become much more part and parcel of the average Detailed reading8
Detailed Reading person’s life than they have ever been. It is this increased sensuality and the desire for great freedom from age-bound habits in the West, combined with the inherent sensual concept of Chinese food, always quick to satisfy the taste buds, that is at the root of the sudden and phenomenal spread of Chinese food throughout the length and breadth of the Western World.” There is no doubt that the traditional high-quality Chinese meal is a serious matter, fastidiously prepared and fastidiously enjoyed. Indeed, the bringing together and initial cutting up and organising of the materials is, Detailed reading9 7
Detailed Reading according to Helen Burke, about 90% of the actual preparation, the cooking itself being only about 10%. This 10% is not, however, a simple matter. There are many possibilities to choose from; Kenneth Lo, for example, lists forty methods available for the heating of food, from chu or the art of boiling to such others as ts’ang, a kind of stir-frying and braising, t’a, deep frying in batter, and wei, burying food in hot solids such as charcoal, heated stones, sand, salt and lime. Detailed reading10
Detailed Reading The preparation is detailed, and the enjoyment must therefore match it. Thus, a proper Chinese meal can last four hours and proceed almost like a religious ceremony. It is a shared experience for the participants, not a lonely chore, with its procession of planned and carefully contrived dishes, some elements designed to blend, others to contrast. Meat and fish, solids and soups, sweet and sour sauces, crisp and smooth textures, fresh and dried vegetables — all these and more challenge the palate with their appropriate charms. 8 Detailed reading11
Detailed Reading In a Chinese meal that has not been altered to conform to Western ideas of eating, everything is presented as a kind of buffet, the guest eating a little of this, a little of that. Individual portions as such are not provided. A properly planned dinner will include at least one fowl, one fish and one meat dish, and their presentation with appropriate vegetables is not just a matter to taste but also a question of harmonious colours. The eye must be pleased as well as the palate; if not, then a certain essentially Chinese element is missing, 9 Detailed reading12
Detailed Reading an element that links this cuisine with that most typical and yet elusive concept Tao. Emily Hahn, an American who has lived and worked in China, has a great appreciation both of Chinese cooking and the “way” that leads to morality and harmony. She insists that “there is moral excellence in good cooking”, and adds that to the Chinese, traditionally, all life, all action, all knowledge are one. They may be chopped up and given parts with labels, such as “Cooking”, “Health”, “Character” and the like, but none is in reality separate from the other. Detailed reading13
Detailed Reading The smooth harmonies and piquant contrasts in Chinese food are more than just the products of recipes and personal enterprise. They are an expression of basic assumptions about life itself. Detailed reading14
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1--Quesion 1 How important is food and eating, according to Kenneth Lo? Food and eating, according to Kenneth Lo, determines not only one’s physical health but also one’s spiritual and moral soundness and his ultimate well-being.
Detailed Reading How do the Chinese and westerners differ in their attitudes towards food? Detailed reading1--Quesion 2 According to the author, many people in the West are gourmets and others are gluttons, while a large number of them are pretty indifferent to food. On the other hand, Fu Tong, a London restaurateur, maintains that food is of primary importance and one of the ecstasies of life. When they go to a restaurant, Westerners care more about the table than the food, while the Chinese aims to eat with a capital E, or take the food with the utmost earnest.
Detailed Reading Why does the author say that Chinese food is the only truly international food? Detailed reading1--Quesion 3 Literally, Chinese food is ubiquitous. Chinese restaurants have sprung up almost everywhere in the world. At the root of the phenomenal rise of Chinese food in the world, there is a strong interest in Chinese food in the West. There is an increase in the sensuality in the Western world and coincidentally, Chinese food is very sensual in its combination of color, texture and taste.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1--Quesion 4 Why does the author compare a proper Chinese meal to a religious ceremony? For the Chinese people, the traditional high-quality Chinese meal is a serious matter. It is fastidiously prepared and fastidiously enjoyed. Both the preparation and enjoyment of a Chinese meal can last hours and make a shared experience which is well planned. The meals must not only meet the challenge of the palate but also that of the eyes.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1--Quesion 5 How does Chinese food express the basic assumptions of life? A good traditional Chinese meal must be well planned and balanced in order to meet the demand of the palate and the eyes alike. So, according to Emily Hahn, there is moral excellence in good cooking, which implies the combination of all life, all action and all knowledge. So important is a meal that it does not mean the product of recipe itself; it express the basic assumptions of life, one of which is harmony and balance.
Detailed Reading well-being n. the state of feeling healthy, happy and comfortable Detailed reading1– well-being e.g. People doing yoga benefit from an increased feeling of well-being. We saw an improvement in the patient’s well-being. Synonym: welfare, health, happiness, comfort
Detailed Reading ecstasy n. sudden intense feeling or excitement Detailed reading1– ecstasy e.g. There was a look of ecstasy on his face. They went into ecstasies over the view. Synonym: rapture, elation
Detailed Reading smother v. cover closely or thickly Detailed reading1– smother e.g. The cook smothered a steak with mushrooms. The pasta was smothered with a creamy sauce. If you smother someone/thing with love or attention, you give them so much of it that they are overwhelmed. e.g. She smothered him with kisses. She should love them without smothering them with attention.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1-- lavish lavish v. give a lot, or too much of sth. e.g. The media couldn’t lavish enough praise on the film. Everything was lavished on her one and only child. Derivation: lavishness (n.), lavishly (ad.)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– assert assert v. declare strongly e.g. He asserts that she stole money from him. The company asserts that the cuts will not affect development. Derivation: assertion (n.), assertive a., assertively ad.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– ubiquitous ubiquitous a. being everywhere at the same time e.g. His ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family. Earth’s ubiquitous atmosphere is essential for life. Synonym: omnipresent, ever-present Derivation: ubiquitously (ad.), ubiquity (n.)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– bedeck bedeck v. decorate, hang ornaments or decorations on e.g. The hall was bedecked with flowers. Tian’anmen Square and Chang’an Avenue were bedecked with flags. Synonym: decorate, adorn, ornament
Detailed Reading exotica n. an object considered interesting because it is out of the ordinary, esp. because it originated in a distant foreign country Detailed reading1– exotica e.g. Collectors of eighteenth century exotica are our main customers. Derivation: exotic (a.), exotically (ad.)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– sensuality sensuality n. preoccupation with, or indulgence in, sensual pleasures e.g. He ate the grapes with surprising sensuality. Life can dazzle with its sensuality, its color. A little honest sensuality never does any harm.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– part and parcel part and parcel an essential part that must not be ignored e.g. Unemployment is part and parcel of the bigger problem — a sagging economy. It’s best to accept that some inconveniences are part and parcel of travel.
Detailed Reading age-bound a. limited in some aspect of what you can or cannot do, because of your age (too young or too old) Detailed reading1– age-bound e.g. A teenager may be age-bound from traveling the world, because he does not yet have a job or money. May be age-bound from traveling the world, because she is too frail for flight.
Detailed Reading taste bud n. Any of the clusters of bulbous nerve endings on the tongue and in the lining of the mouth which provide the sense of taste. Detailed reading1– taste bud
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– phenomenal phenomenal a. very remarkable, amazing e.g. He enjoyed phenomenal success as a race car driver. She has a phenomenal memory. The town expanded at a phenomenal rate. Derivation: phenomenon (n.), phenomenally (ad.), phenomenalize (v.)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– fastidiously fastidiously ad. with excessive care or delicacy e.g. She stared fastidiously at the dirty table. He fastidiously copied every word of his notes onto clean paper. Derivation: fastidious (a.), fastidiousness (n.)
Detailed Reading braise v. cook (meat, fish or vegetables) slowly in a small amount of liquid in a closed container Detailed reading1– braise e.g. braised beef
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– chore chore n. a hard or unpleasant task e.g. It is a real chore to stand on line to buy food every day. As a child, one of my chores was to feed the pets.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– contrive contrive v. plan with great cleverness e.g. The prisoners managed to contrive a means of escape. He contrived to get into the concert without a ticket. Derivation: contrived (a.) deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously e.g. the carefully contrived image of family unity The ending of the novel was a bit contrived.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– palate palate n. the sense of taste e.g. We’ll have a dinner to delight the palate. Gradually the palate becomes educated to sweeter wines.
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– elusive elusive a. hard to express or define e.g. He tried to recall the elusive thought he had had months before. The meaning of the poem was somewhat elusive. Derivation: elusively (ad.), elusiveness (n.)
Detailed Reading Detailed reading1– piquant piquant a. agreeably strong or sharp in taste e.g. With that piquant tomato sauce, the dish tastes much better. We ordered a crisp mixed salad with an unusually piquant dressing. Synonym: spicy, tangy, appetizing
Detailed Reading enterprise n. the ability to think of new activities or ideas and make them work Detailed reading1– enterprise e.g. Success came quickly, thanks to a mixture of talent, enterprise, and luck. We all admire men of enterprise, energy, and ambition. Derivation: enterprising (a.)
Detailed Reading How can one remain indifferent to something which will determine one’s physical strength and ultimately one’s spiritual and moral fibre and well-being? Detailed reading1– How can one … Paraphrase: No one can afford to ignore the importance of food which will give us physical strength and even emotional strength to do what one believes to be right as well as our sense of happiness.