Food is Culture in China


As a Tour Operator to China, I am often asked about the food. Food is a major part of Chinese culture as a sign of hospitality. If you clean up your plate your host will think you did not have enough and loses face. You should always leave a little food on your plate. It goes against our grain I know but it does not go to waste as the farm animals will get it. One funny story to tell. I was in the remote mountains and we were having breakfast and normally it is boiled eggs. My Chinese friend knows I prefer fried eggs, so he had the cook make some fried eggs. He brought out 3 fried eggs on a plate and we were so involved with our conversation, I ate all 3 eggs. The cook had a frown on his face when we left and I knew I had screwed up and caused him to lose face. The next morning at breakfast I could hear him singing away in the kitchen as happy as he could be. A few minutes later, he came out with a platter of 12 fried eggs and placed them on our table. He smiled from ear to ear as to say, is this enough? I could only give him a thumbs up and thank him and of course I only ate a few of the eggs. He smiled and waved goodbye when we left. I always appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Chinese people and even more the differences in our cultures. Tours to China is my business; the Love of China is my passion. I hope you can enjoy it as much as I do.