Why is Chinese cuisine so famous

Guide - why is Chinese food so digestible?

Why is Chinese food so digestible?

I've wanted to know for a long time why Chinese cuisine is considered so healthy. Why is that? The types of preparation? Or about the fact that in the Far East people eat more slowly with chopsticks? Or is it perhaps because of the Chinese attitude towards life?

If I had not recently visited China personally, notably with restaurateurs from Lucerne, I would hardly be able to give an answer. The fact is that Chinese cuisine has been among the healthiest for centuries. And that food is still very important to the Chinese (in spite of the culinary westernization in the megacities today).

The cuisine of China has an attitude towards life. The Chinese eat primarily to stay healthy, fit and therefore happy. They see food as "light medicine" that has power over the entire body. Anyone who eats wrongly disturbs its harmony. Her secret: the freshness of the food. The Chinese do not store these for long and prepare them with very little fat. They generally eat less fatty meat than Europeans - but twice as much fruit and vegetables. And they drink a lot of tea, a national drink in China and even a greeting ritual at rest stops.

Rice and soy are served with almost all dishes. Both contain important amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Rice dehydrates the body and stimulates digestion. So the day begins with rice and noodle soups. It takes some getting used to for Swiss people who are used to bread, croissants, jam, cheese and ankles.

Salt is taboo

The dishes are seasoned with healthy herbs and plant roots. Salt is taboo. The food is carefully prepared. When steaming, blanching and briefly roasting, the nutrients are retained longer.

The Chinese don't classify foods based on nutritional values, calories, vitamins, or carbohydrates. Rather, traditional cuisine is upheld and emphasis is placed on smell, color, taste and quality. The Chinese cuisine celebrated in this country does not have much in common with the “original”. With laudable exceptions.

We didn't even come across the “Sweet & Sour” tourist gag on our trip. Thick ready-made sauces and cream soups are not included in the Chinese menu. The wonderful dim sum or dumplings, on the other hand, do. Dim Sum are steamed, fried or deep-fried appetizers, mostly dumplings filled with fish, prawns, meat or vegetables. They have their origins in the Cantonese cuisine of China, where they are traditionally served with tea. Literally translated, dim sum means “touching the heart” - and these “handmade” products have touched our hearts and palates too.

Also unforgettable: the Japanese udon noodles made from wheat flour and the fried noodles for breakfast. And as a “meat tiger”, I became a fan of “bean curd”, known to us as tofu, in China. It really doesn't get any healthier than this.

* Herbert Huber is a restaurateur and hotelier, author of the book “Stories and Cooking. Dance with the gastronomy », Werd-Verlag.