Chinese Food in San Francisco

Chinese Food in San Francisco

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Chinese nutrient has ever been one of the most indispensable parts of Chinese civilization. In ancient times, Chinese people placed nutrient at the degree of Eden. Presents, with the rapid development of Chinese economic system and globalisation, civilization from E and west communicate and integrate with each other. Chinese nutrient civilization has besides been spread to other parts of the universe. America is one of the earliest western states to be influenced by Chinese nutrient civilization. Due to the strong contrast between eastern and western civilization, Chinese nutrient in America is besides undergoing some challenges. Therefore, the United States, particularly its metropolis San Francisco where Chinese nutrient foremost arrived, would be a good instance to analyze how Chinese nutrient spread to the universe. This paper chiefly focus on the historical background and current state of affairs of Chinese nutrient in San Francisco. Get downing with an debut of Chinese nutrient civilization and stoping with some suggestions of its hereafter development aboard.

Chinese Food Culture

Harmonizing to Du and Yao’s ( 2005 ) survey, the get downing point of Chinese nutrient could be traced to the Neolithic period. Over 1000s of years’ development, Chinese nutrient has developed into an alone civilization and has its ain features. In this subdivision, an debut of Chinese nutrient civilization is provided from its assortment, beauty, seasonableness and relationship with regimen these four major facets.


Due to China’s big size of district and population, Chinese nutrient varies a batch among different parts. By and large, it can be divided into eight regional culinary arts: Chuan, Xiang, Hui, Lu, Yue, Zhe, Min and Su culinary arts. These regional differences chiefly come from their differences in clime, cooking manners and handiness of natural stuffs. For the clime, in the north portion of China, conditions is cold and dry, which leads to their penchant in salty and spicy nutrient. However, the clime in the southern China is comparatively mild and people live in there prefer Sweet. Besides that, their typical cookery techniques besides result in their different culinary arts. For illustration, Sichuan people are good at frying and baking, while Hui culinary arts are celebrated for boiling and grizzling. Third, the geographical environment besides determines their handiness of natural stuffs, such as mouton more frequently appears in Northern culinary arts and more seafood are found in the South. Except these eight major types, there are besides other little types of culinary arts formed based on faiths and minority civilization. For illustration, lamb, beef and many dairy merchandises are in Inner Mongolia’s culinary arts due to its civilization of pastoral ( Wu, 2014 ) .


Chinese cooking non merely focuses on the specific culinary accomplishments, but besides concerns about the overall beauty of the culinary art. In Chinese, there is a word frequently used to depict delightful nutrient —— “mei-shi” ( c?Ze?Y ) . This is clearly a compound word combined by “Japanese apricot” and “Shi” . “Japanese apricot” means “Beautiful” while “Shi” means “Food” . A existent mei-shi non merely tastes delightful, but besides looks beautiful. It reflects the importance of beauty in Chinese nutrient civilization. Normally, 5 major facets of nutrient beauty are concerned in Chinese tradition: Color, odor, gustatory sensation, form and vas. The beauty of nutrient requires the balance and correspondence of these five elements. No affair what natural stuff is, a good combination of the five elements could make art and even tells a narrative. Furthermore, the beauty of Chinese nutrient besides reflects on the names of culinary arts. Name callings of Chinese culinary arts could non merely come from the stuffs and cooking methods, but besides based on some historical allusions. For illustration, Dongpo’s porc ( a??a??e‚‰ ) is a sort of braised porc named based on the name of a celebrated Chinese essayist Su Dongpo. Su Dongpo was really affectionate of eating porc. During the period he worked at Xu Zhou, there is one clip that Xu Zhou was trapped by the inundations, he led the soldiers and people successfully prevented farther amendss and saved the metropolis. Local citizens gave him a batch of porc and mouton to thank him for the success. However, he was really integrity and did non desire any gift from the people. Therefore, he asked his households to cook those porc into braised porc and direct back to citizens. Subsequently on, he besides worked in Huang Zhou and Hang Zhou, the culinary art was besides brought at that place. Many people found it is rather delightful and the culinary art became celebrated in China. Since so, it has been named as Dongpo’s porc.


In Chinese civilization, nutrient is ever correlated with clip. First of all, in different season, Chinese people would hold different culinary arts. Hot summer usually accompanied with cool or stop deading nutrient, while in winter, people ever grizzling and braising nutrient. This is chiefly due to the differentiation in clime among seasons. On the other manus, Chinese nutrient besides has a strong connexion with traditional festivals. In Spring Festival, dumplings and rice bars ( besides called New Year Cakes ) are the necessities. Besides, glue puddings ( tang kwai ) for the Lantern Festival, Moon bars for the Mid-autumn Festival and rice dumplings ( zong zi ) for the Dragon Boat Festival, etc. These connexions all have cultural grounds and relevant traditional narratives behind. For case, Dragon Boat Festival was to memorise the loyal poet Qu Yuan. Due to the unhappiness of losing his states, he jumped into the river. Ancient people made rice dumplings to throw into the river for him. Therefore, rice dumplings bit by bit became the particular nutrient for this festival.


Since ancient China, people believe the medical specialty and nutrient portion the same beginning and have same map. Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM ) follows the ideal of the correspondence of human and nature. It believes the healthiest manner to eat is to accomplish the rapprochement of the five gustatory sensations of nutrient ( rancid, acrimonious, sweet, spicy and salty ) . Furthermore, in Chinese civilization, colour and form of the nutrient could be related with the five internal variety meats ( bosom, kidneys, lien, lungs and liver ) . Eating different nutrient could nurture the correspondence variety meats. Red nutrient nourishes the bosom, xanthous nutrient is good for lien, black nutrient relates with kidneys, white nutrient connects lungs and bluish green nutrient helps the liver. For illustration, nutrient like black rice, black soya bean and black benne are believed to be good for kidneys. Besides, for nutrient form, one is illustration is walnut. Due to its similar form with human encephalon, it is believed to be helpful for encephalon operation.

Chinese Food in San Francisco

Historical Background

Chinese nutrient has a long history in America, particularly in San Francisco. Before most of Americans could hold a gustatory sensation of Chinese nutrient, people in San Francisco had already enjoyed some Yue culinary arts brought by Cantonese immigrants. During the Gold Rush epoch, get downing from 1849, the first Chinese eating house in America was opened in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was rather sympathetic among Americans at that clip, chiefly due to its good gustatory sensations and inexpensive monetary value. The exoticness Chinese eating houses held attracted many tourers and Americans. However, because of the temblor and fire in 1906, Chinatown was mostly damaged and Chinese eating houses had to be rebuilt from stretch. Subsequently on, a fresh and new manner of Chinatown was constructed, which removed its past exoticness and connected more with the local San Francisco civilization. At the same clip, the really authoritative American Chinese culinary art chop suey became progressively popular in America and brought Chinese culinary arts into the mainstream ( Hsia, 2003 ) . In the in-between and late 20th century, the development of Chinese eating house in America reached a extremum. Assorted types of culinary arts like Chuan culinary art and Shanghai culinary art besides appeared in America. Celebrities contributed a batch to this development. First, during the war of opposition against Nipponese, Song Mei-ling came to America to inquire for the international support. She gave addresss in the United States Congress and besides brought Chinese culinary arts to America. Furthermore, when the president Richard Nixon visited China, he tasted and praised the celebrated culinary art Peking Duck, in bend raised the popularity of Chinese culinary arts in America. Come to the 21stcentury, due to the falling of U.S. economic system and China’s fast growing, increasing figure of Chinese are puting abroad and more Chinese eating house are opening in America.

Current Situation

After over 160 old ages of development, the figure of Chinese Restaurant in America has reached over 46 1000s and about 10 per centum of them are located in San Francisco ( Chen & A ; Sang, 2012 ) . Presently, the types of Chinese culinary arts there are abundant. Besides those different regional culinary arts, even some local Chinese bites can besides be found at that place. Chinese eating houses in America have developed into two major manners: the Chinese-style Chinese eating house and American-style Chinese eating house. Food in American-style Chinese eating house has already integrated with local nutrient civilization and catered the gustatory sensation penchant of Americans. Celebrated illustrations include Panda Express and P.F. Chang’s. A new type called American Chinese culinary arts have been developed and those in San Francisco are chiefly influenced by California culinary arts. The major difference is that the significance of veggies in American Chinese culinary arts is much lower than in traditional Chinese culinary arts. Vegetables are chiefly served as garnish. Besides, they frequently use some ingredients that may non be used in China. And their major cookery manner is frying, largely because of its simpleness and locals’ gustatory sensation penchant. On the other manus, the Chinese-style Chinese eating houses still follow the Chinese traditional nutrient civilization and seek to supply the most original Chinese nutrient for Americans. In these eating houses, Chinese nutrient civilization has been mostly preserved and promoted to the American society. However, with the increasing figure of immigrants from assorted other states, traditional Chinese nutrient is going less prevail and other countries’ nutrient like Nipponese nutrient, Korean nutrient, Thailand nutrient are going more popular. Merely some old and comparatively well-known eating houses are still really attractive to them.


Globalization helped Chinese nutrient to distribute all over the universe, but besides challenged Chinese food’s hereafter development in oversea. The major ground consequences in the worsening popularity of Chinese nutrient in America is the deficiency of invention. Innovation based on the incorporation of Chinese nutrient civilization and western nutrient civilization should be the tendency for future development.

First, they need to standardise the cookery procedure of Chinese culinary arts. Although Chinese nutrient civilization is developed through 1000s of old ages, it may still non catch up those modern scientific criterions. The standardisation and hygienization of Chinese restaurant demand to be farther improved. However, since in Chinese nutrient civilization, the quality of nutrient is extremely relevant with chef’s cooking experience and workmanship, which is quite personal and difficult to copy. Therefore, this is one of major troubles they need to undertake for the hereafter development of Chinese nutrient in America. Furthermore, there is a recent tendency of healthy diet in America, American people are get downing to concern more about their wellness and vegetarianism are going more popular. Compare to other countries’ culinary arts, Chinese nutrient has the competitory advantages on this country. As mentioned in front, in Chinese civilization, nutrient ever has a strong connexion with regimen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are a batch of valuable theories to develop the healthiest diet and besides has specific different 1s for different physical habitus. This portion of Chinese nutrient civilization has non been much developed in America yet. After being better organized and integrated with modern medical scientific discipline, it would be extremely attractive to the new coevalss. Therefore, the hereafter invention could follow this form and besides seek to advance Chinese regimen civilization to America. Finally, in order to be more advanced and alone, non merely the combination with western civilization is of import, the incorporation within Chinese nutrient is besides important. One of the major features of Chinese nutrient is its great assortment. Eight different regional culinary arts all have their ain particular manners. When advancing Chinese nutrient in America, these assorted features could be farther combined, besides localized with American nutrient civilization and make the 9th type of culinary arts that catered Americans’ penchants best. In this manner, Chinese eating houses would be better developed and Chinese nutrient civilization could be more well-known in the universe.


After 1000s of years’ development, Chinese nutrient civilization is wide and profound. With China’s past rapid growing and the big graduated table of population motion across states, Chinese nutrient civilization has already spread to many parts of the universe. From its yesteryear development in San Francisco, America, a possible form of nutrient civilization spreading could be concluded. It foremost become attractive through being alien, so it needs to follow and provide to the local civilization, eventually the sustainable hereafter development requires invention and cultural integrating. Clearly, the foundation for this is to be well-developed and tasty on its ain at the first topographic point. The instance of Chinese nutrient in San Francisco serves as a perfect illustration. With more invention and modernisation of Chinese nutrient civilization, Chinese nutrient could decidedly go more popular around universe and aid aliens to better understand about Chinese civilization.


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