Food, eating, it’s something we all deal with on a daily basis. Food has a strong link to its surroundings though, certain things can’t be found to eat in certain places. It’s interesting to note then how more local cuisine finds its way across the globe. How exactly does foreign food spread to different countries? More specifically to narrow it down to one type of food, how has Chinese food spread from one location to another?
The Chinese take great pride in their cooking, and it’s part of the reason their food has spread all over the globe. They have a unique style that dates back to ancient traditions, and they’ve been trying out different recipes and combinations for centuries. Some of their ingredients may seem bizarre, but it’s just due to the fact that they would utilize things that would otherwise just go to waste. That being said what most people perceive as “Chinese” food is only the tip of the iceberg. They have so many different ways to prepare and some many different things they use in their cooking that only a small portion of that makes up what people commonly refer to as Chinese food.
Another big reason the food has so easily spread is just due to the food itself. The ingredients themselves are generally quite cheap, and when cooked correctly they stay fresh for quite some time. When you factor this in when considering that a lot of people really enjoy the food you can easily see why the food has spread to the locations it has touched down upon. The main way it’s actually sprung up in different locations is just the Chinese people themselves. As they’ve taken to spreading across the globe they’ve more or less just brought their cuisine with them. The first major location outside of China that adopted its cuisine was the Philippines. This was around the 16th century and when a large number of Chinese immigrated there. It’s also evident when you look at locations dubbed “Chinatown” the Asian culture and cuisine in such locations is everywhere.
Despite these central hubs being where the cuisine is most prevalent, it’s overall appeal and cheap price is what helped it spread even further beyond these locations. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese restaurant pretty much anywhere in the United States, and that fact rings true for a great majority of the world. It may have originated in China, but the Chinese way of cooking has truly become a global cuisine.
Wiradji, Sudibyo M. “Chinese Cuisine Has Spread around the World.” Home. The Jakarta Post, 4 May 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.
Wu, David Y. H., and Sidney C. H. Cheung. The Globalization of Chinese Food. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi, 2002. Print.