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Chinese cuisine is excellent, but... [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-2-13 17:52:02 |Display all floors it not undermined by drinking either baijiu or fizzy beer ?

Many times I have set at a dinner table in China and sat expectantly as one
mouth-watering dish after another is placed before me. The succulent fresh
vegetables and other leng pan look particurly appetising. However, what should be a perfect start to a sumptuous meal is spoilt by the insistence of the host that we overwhelm our palates with numerous toasts with moutai or fizzy beer.

I fully acknowledge that the host's desire to toast is borne of a fine tradition
of hospitlality and bonhomie, and stems from nothing but good intentions.

However, I cannot think of a drink more inappropriate with food than baijiu,
which is much too strong to serve as a compliment to any dish. Fizzy beer can
be refreshing, but it does little to enhance the flavour of the delicious food and
after several toasts usually leads to an uncomfortable bloated feeling.

The four traditions of Chinese cuisine are unboubtedly a rich culinary
endowment; indeed, a culinary excellence appreciated across the globe.   

Nevertheless, such delicious food is ill-served by drinking conventions      
which are poor matches for fine food.

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Post time 2007-2-14 06:22:58 |Display all floors

the little sip


I think you've raised a very interesting question here. The thing is as far as I know, there ARE actually people in china who only drinks baijiu. and when they drink it ,they will only eat salty peanuts alone or with their most trusted friend. So you might see just as much as you hate it, there are people who just can't stop loving it, which I guess all depends on how you would like to make use of it.

As about the table drinking thing, I think you have every right to say that baijiu is not a good match of any of the succulent dishes on the table.But pls don't forget also that it is not supposed to be one either. It is like a present, from a very warm-hearted hostess who is too shy to hug you or say she likes you, AND you don't even have to like it. Just take a little sip and wave your head and hands and tell her that it is too much to your stomach, I think she will understand in the end. Just don't let your whole wonderful memory be ruined by a cup of baijiu.  Or you could just try give in at the time and then go to a restaurant having nothing but chinese vegetables later! Who knows, you might even miss that little sip from time to time!

Happy eating!

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Post time 2007-2-14 10:59:32 |Display all floors
I actually find that the Chinese beer goes well with the food.

The Chinese don't have a culture of drinking after a meal is finished, which is why it, for the most part, makes for very poor drinking-session beer, it is designed to drink with a meal, particularly a hot meal like huo guo

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Post time 2007-2-14 19:45:53 |Display all floors

Food-friendly beverages

lovable and renegadedog9; thankyou for your comments.

I do appreciate that baijiu is offered with friendly compliments. However, as I
spend most of my time in China doing business in Liaoning, it is culturally
problematic to refuse the numerous hearty toasts with moutai!

I take the point that a hot dish such as hou guo does benefit from being
consumed  a cold drink such as beer.

However, in Europe, the beverage developed specifically to match food is
putaojiu. The range of wine styles: red/white, dry/sweet, still/sparkling,
full-bodied/light-bodied, together with a vast range of flavours, ensures that
any food dish can be suitably matched. At a special dinner party in Europe, it is
common for a different wine to be served with each of the 3,4,5 or 6 courses of
the meal. The sumptuous dinner might also be preceded by an aperitif,
often Champagne, and concluded with a digestif such as port or cognac.
Even in less formal dining circumstances, a simple lunch of bread and
cheese would be accompanied by a glass of red wine that matched the
richness and flavour of the cheese being consumed.

Successfully matching a particular wine with a companion dish enhances both
the food and wine.

I have committed myself to running a couple of fine wine courses in Shanghai
this coming Spring and look forward to bringing European culture to a new

Bon appetit mes amis!

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Post time 2007-2-14 22:39:32 |Display all floors

wait a minute here...

Originally posted by johnners at 2007-2-13 04:52 AM it not undermined by drinking either baijiu or fizzy beer ?

Many times I have set at a dinner table in China and sat expectantly as one
mouth-watering dish after another is placed before ...

howdy...not ev'ryone has to please someone!...and i am not sure what sort of drinker or not drinker you are.  so, please don't even say bringing your european's culture to the chinese...this kind of stuff has nothing to do with culture but just a GOOD time with friends...if you can't take hard liquor then consume it slowly...i take all kind of stuff just a matter of practicing (i'm connoisseur of all good things in life)!  take care!  peter  

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Post time 2007-2-15 05:53:06 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-2-15 10:08:49 |Display all floors
I think what some chinese try to creat in terms of a banquet or dinner they host in your honor is a kind of environment in which you can totally relax yourself and be a bit 'oblivious of ' yourself ...! nothing can work better on such creations but You will accept such a practice and come to like it after you understand its implication and get used to it...!lol

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