China is a nation of food and drinks, world-renowned for a broad array of superb cuisine and exquisite culinary skills. For the Chinese, food is not just three meals a day, but also a culture, an art. an essentially social activity.
Food culture is an integral part of the traditional Chinese culture. It covers a wide range, from the porridge culture, tea culture, wine culture by food types, to the local culinary traditions and snack cultures which represent the local eating habit, and to the traditional therapeutic and medicine cuisine, as well as the cooking-techniques related culture, to name just a few. All of these possesses a long history, distinctive features, and endless meaning to be explored. Combined with the aesthetic taste, the food culture developed into an art which strives for pleasing colors, aromas, flavors, shapes, names, containers, feelings, and settings.
No matter for family reunion or for business talks, for ordinary recreation or for holidays and festivals . for weddings or funerals, on whatever occasions and any special days, “Let’s go for dinner ” is always the repertoire of the social events. The toasting, chatting and laughing at the dinner table, is more than satisfying the appetite and enjoying the taste, but to exchange feelings and sustain the harmony of social contacts. Thus, eating and drinking have a special meaning for the Chinese people, reflecting the belief in harmony in the traditional Chinese culture.