Food & Drink






The History of Chinese cuisine is sometimes, in China, traced back to the time of Peking Man and his use of fire, i.e., the invention of "cuisine" some 400,000 years ago. More humble accounts of the history still take the beginning back to the Chinese stone age, where the cultivation of rice and the production of noodles, both typical representatives of Chinese cuisine as we know it today, are known from archeological findings.

Over the centuries, as new techniques and food stuff were imported and/or invented, the Chinese cuisine as we know it gradually evolved, e.g. the use of chopsticks as eating utensils, another of the hallmarks of Chinese cuisine, goes back at least to the Zhou Dynasty; stir-fried dishes became popular during the Tang Dynasty; while most "famous dishes" as found today, were invented only during the Qing Dynasty or the early years of the Republic of China.

The Great Cuisines

Not long after the expansion of the Chinese empire during the Qin and Han Dynasties, Chinese writers noted the great differences in culinary practices between people from different parts of the realm. These differences, following to a great extent the varying climate and availability of food sources in China, could be very local in nature but where early on systematized in lists of Chinese cuisines, the four most well-known being:


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