Chinese Culinary Cultural Product: Dumplings

1174 words (5 pages) Essay

18th May 2020 Cultural Studies Reference this

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 The Chinese cuisine is a wide representation of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages globally. It has its origins in most parts of China with the extension being observed form Southeast Asia to North America and parts of Western Europe. The Chinese culture is bounded by meals that are believed to consist of components such as carbohydrates as the main food and dishes that are accompanied by vegetables, meat, and fish. The culinary cultural food that interest product report is the Chinese Dumplings. In the paper, I am going to focus on the description of Chinese dumplings, analyze the socio-cultural meaning associated with the food, what is represented by Chinese dumplings, what is symbolized by dumplings and the values that are associated with dumplings.

Cultural Profile

With a roaring population of 1.357 billion people, China remains the number one populated country in the world. Shanghai happens to be the most populated city with a count of two billion people. Twenty-one percent of the world’s population is from China alone. The usual life expectancy rose from forty years of age to now just above seventy five years of age. In the Chinese history, the dumplings were widely used in the representation of symbol of wealth as well as prosperity as a result of their close resemblance to the little gold ingots which was the currency that was used during the ancient times during the Ming Dynasty (Zhao, et al, p.24). In taking the tradition further, some people hide a clean coin in one of the dumpling’s filling so as the lucky and fortunate person who finds it is believed to be blessed and have a great progress and success in life in the future coming years. In addition, the Jiaozi is also used in the Chinese culture to bring a larger meaning of celebration and festivals, delicacy, wealth, family unions and happiness within the culture of the people of China (Ma, Guansheng, p.196). Dumplings show how a country like China with so enormous population can be united by their culture and traditions, which makes it even stronger despite the diversity that exists amongst the citizens in other aspects

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Chinese dumpling comes in many types in which Jiaozi is one of them and each type has its significance and meaning in the culture of the people of China since food culture is a theme that is deeply rooted in the history of the country. The dumplings are traditionally eaten throughout China’s New Year and during the midnight to bring luck during a particular occasion or ceremony by the Chinese people (Zhao, et al, p.27). The fact that dumplings are consumed by the entire community in China shows the bond that exists between them as one people, therefore becoming a symbol of national unity in China.

Problems and Opportunities

It is the belief of the people of China that the food they eat must either come from such animals that are known to lead a decent life to keep away from the curse. Again, the vegetables that are used in the making of the dumplings come from Levin, which is a cold pressed rapeseed oil. In making this type of food, the people remain quite aware of the environmental costs of the food for the people of China, and therefore the concerned citizens always try to their best in the minimization of their impacts on the planet (Zhao, et al, p. 29). This goes hand in hand with ensuring all the materials that make up the dumplings as well as their packaging whether in the homes and restaurants are biodegradable, which minimize environmental pollution, keeping the country clean and safe for human life.

Dumplings show the respect the people of China have because they unite them especially during the New Year eve, where they feast and celebrate in unison thereby tightening the bonds that exist between them. For such, they can, therefore, be said to be a symbol of unity. In the determination of the healthy nature of dumplings, it is advisable to establish whether such a type of food is steamed, deep fried or even pan-fried (Ma, Guansheng, p. 197). The best option remains to be the steamed ones, then the pan-fried and lastly the deep fried.

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 The most vulnerable group of people who were recommended to consume dumplings in China were adults who used it primarily to cure illness as being invented by a Chinese renowned practitioner and traditional medicine man Zhang Zhongjing. During the winter, the practitioner administered dumplings to patients who were suffering from extreme cold and febrile ailment which had become a chronic illness among elderly people. He, therefore, mixed mutton meat, herbs and chili peppers to the patients which eventually showed a kind of relieve after the consumption.  In addition, grown-up people believed that dumplings could be prepared lately before midnight and were supposed to be consumed between 11:00 pm of Chu xi and 1:00 am of lunar during the Chinese New Year calendar (Ma, Guansheng, p.196). This is the correct time that the food could induce joy, happiness, and prosperity for the entire year among the Chinese.

Discussion

 In most cases, it is a norm that Chinese dumplings are a representation of all meals that are ought to be consumed in China. This infers that when an individual consumes dumplings during dinner or lunch, for instance, they do not have to go ahead and cook other foods unless during big occasions. It, therefore, implies that dumplings are good enough to gather for the need of all day’s meals despite the fact that they might take a long time preparing them. This representation made dumpling to have a lot of advantages over other Chinese foods despite the fact that it involves a lot of procedures while preparing them which might make all process tedious (Ma, Guansheng, p.196). From the ancient Chinese times, dumplings were spread in many categories depending on nature, for instance, those which were delicious, those that were comfortable flat and dumplings on wine. Furthermore, another representation of the dumplings was the harmonious eating and celebrations of the New Year which was a way of welcoming and hoping that the New Year will get on well with a lot of favors.

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