Generally speaking, the food differences between the UK and China is not a new and fresh topic, but today I would like to discuss it in another way by introducing two examples respectively. The first is my food experience in the UK and the second is Bridget’s (my host) food experience in China. I hope this discussion will raise your interest in the vast cultural differences in food between China and the UK.
Before getting on the topic directly, I am willing to let you know why many individuals have accepted the food differences: Firstly, because we are now more globally connected, many countries are now more accustomed to cuisine from other cultures; the result of which is shown as more Chinese restaurants are expanding all over the world and more foreign food restaurants are setting up in China. Secondly, Cantonese started the Asian food around the world a long time ago, which helped Western people have access to Chinese food and begin to accept the hot topic of food differences. The two reasons are the easiest way to explain why food differences are a common topic.
Next, I want to speak about two recent examples: real experiences always have great power to support one’s idea so the first example is my food experience in the UK. The food that I cannot accept is British salads and cold sandwiches; even though we have salad as one dish in China, we won’t eat it as a main part of lunch and we treat it just as a cold dish accompanied with other hot food and rice. I am not accustomed to eating cold sandwiches as my lunch as well because it upsets my stomach, especially cold food. I usually invite waiters to heat it up if possible. Generally speaking, lunch in the UK is normally prepared cold with raw vegetables, like salad; thus, this is what I feel most worried about in food differences topic discussion.
My Host’s Experience of Food Differences in China
Bridget’s experience in eating Chinese food (fish) is my second example to be used to support my discussion. I think that the majority of people in the UK have tried Chinese food before in Asian restaurants, but it is admitted that the dishes have been adapted to the British appetite, like the following story: in the UK, Bridget was used to eating boneless fish, which was quite easy to eat with no worries; however, she felt confused in China when eating fish with bones, which she should eat very carefully. In addition, fish is always cut into pieces for cooking in the UK but Bridget was surprised to face one whole fish as a dish in China. I want to let you know that Chinese people sometimes will cut fish into pieces in some cuisines but often cook whole fish directly. Clearly, the dish of fish cooked differently between China and the UK is a powerful example to add to your ideas about the food differences between the two nations.
The two examples are just some examples of food differences but I hope that you could acquire new realization of food comparisons from my paper. Last but not least is that we should admit the food differences among different regions and countries, and afterwards, we could accept them and learn cooking skills from each other. Doing business in China is the same for British companies: to admit the differences, to get to know each other further, and to make developments together.
Here is a link to Yuyang Yan’s LinkedIn Page to find out more about his experiences at Your Bridge to China
Blog written by Yuyang Yan, One of Your Bridge to China’s interns for the Summer.