Why do southerners pay more attention to eating?

2020-01-14 | Elephant Guild original |

It ’s difficult to compare eating habits. Should the tofu brain put salt or sugar? The two factions should never try to convince each other. However, where meals take a long time every day, the ingredients will be more extensive, and the dishesThe style is also more complicated, and naturally belongs to a place where you can eat more and pay more attention to it.

It is generally believed that China is more and more particular about eating from north to south. Whether China's gourmet capital is Guangzhou or Chengdu may be debated, but it is unlikely to be recognized as Taiyuan or Shijiazhuang. When it comes to ingredientsWith a wide range, I am afraid that Cantonese people are worthy of being the number one in China. "Only those who fly in the sky except airplanes and four-legged ones except tables and chairs do not eat." Only Guangdong talents can afford it.

The extensive and complex diet culture is inseparable from the diversification of ingredients. The ingredients have prompted the chef to develop processing and cooking methods for various materials, and have also enriched the taste of diners, and tapped to cultivate a broader spectrum of tastes and tastes..

In this way, Guangdong is the most particular place to eat in China. However, for different food cultures, when people hold a mentality of appreciation and experience, it is fresh, surprise and exotic, and when people need to be advertisedDue to their own cultural characteristics, differences have become the object of discrimination and teasing-the breadth of Cantonese recipes has made the awesome outside world somewhat different today.

[Nutrition Bottleneck]

The difference between North and South diet cultures comes first from the differences in potential food sources in different historical environments.

In the era of hunting and collecting, a large proportion of food was animal protein, and its nutritional bottleneck was the total energy of food. After turning to agricultural society, the energy available on a unit of land increased significantly, which could feed more people.And the proportion of animal protein in food has decreased correspondingly.

Compared with hunters and nomads, the nutritional bottleneck of farmers is shifted from energy to protein. In a mixed farming and pastoral society, meat can still be guaranteed, but in a farming year, we must find ways to find meat..Although farmers have obtained plant-based protein sources after "domesticating" legumes, the desire for meat is ancient and ingrained.

—— The ancestors of humans were highly omnivorous primates. Except for gorillas, after the large apes changed from arboreal to terrestrial habitat, the proportion of carnivores began to increase and became highly opportunistic in terms of feeding objects. ChimpanzeesFrom fruits, worms, ants, honey, bird eggs to monkeys, eat everything, and primates occasionally cannibalize. Humans have inherited omnivorous characteristics. After leaving the jungle and coming to the prairie, the recipe contains more meat, plusThe human brain, which has been swollen several times, is a highly energy-consuming organ, and the need for meat is even more urgent.

In traditional China, the further south you go, the more scarce your meat is. Firstly, the more you go south, the more grassland you need to raise ruminants such as cattle and sheep. And the land re-cultivation index is high. Large pigs only have pigs. Although pigs have meat production efficiencyIt ’s high, but it competes for food—the recipes are highly coincident with humans, making it difficult to raise them in large numbers, as do chickens and ducks.

Secondly, the further south, the lower the protein content of the grain. The protein content of tubers and tubers such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and taro is much lower than that of cereals. Rice and corn in cereals are lower than wheat, even if it is also wheat, southern wheatIt is also lower than northern wheat. In this way, southerners must find more meat to supplement protein outside the staple food, and have to tap all other possibilities: dog meat, horse meat, frogs, mountain rats, snakes, silkworm pupae, grasshoppers, cicadas, water lice...

[Cultural Ethics]

Once the recipe of a society stabilizes, it becomes a custom, and members use it to establish cultural identity and identify the identity of the community. Thereafter, even if the niche and resource conditions have changed, eating habits will continue with strong cultural inertiaGoing on, especially food taboos, is an effective symbol for building cultural divides, distinguishing identities, and inspiring hostility. Today, Jews and Muslims have long been scattered around the world, but they still adhere to the ancient Semiticdietarylaws.

However, having a wider range of recipes in one place does not necessarily mean that more complicated eating habits will be developed. For example, in the modern Northeast China, the sources of ingredients it can provide are far more abundant and diverse than those in Kanai. But in Cantonese cuisine,During the stereotype, the food culture in Northeast China did not outperform North China.

Although the best part of a local dietary culture often depends on the local wealthy class. But whether a place is sufficiently developed and wealthy, and whether it has a complex and sophisticated dietary culture, there is no decisive causal link. Taikoo, Pingyao, QiCounties and other places have been rich in the world for hundreds of years, but have not developed a food culture that is proud of them. Similarly, in Europe, Britain has ruled the wealth of the world for hundreds of years. Compared with France across the strait, its food culture is based onSimple and famous.

Anthropologists think that when studying European food culture, differences in the natural environment are only congenital factors, and the role of acquired social forms and social culture is greater.

For example, the neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands have almost the same recipes on the menu, they are rich in seafood and meat, and they also like potatoes. However, the Belgians who are mainly Catholics belong to "love life" in Europe.People are willing to spend more time enjoying eating pleasure, and their diet is more complex and sophisticated. The Dutch are known for their high efficiency and are almost unwilling to waste time on eating.

In Europe, countries with more complicated cooking techniques and diet etiquette are almost Catholic countries in southern Europe, such as France, Italy, and Spain. Protestant countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in the north, pay more attention to efficiency and diet.Culturally, it can't be compared with the former.

In the southern European countries that generally pay attention to food, French cuisine is still outstanding and has its own special cultural factors. After the French Revolution, the concept of equality popularized the new food philosophy to the whole society-true gourmets can surpass the social classYes, as long as he knows how to appreciate.


The cultural and ethical differences between Protestantism and Catholicism are distinct in Europe. The early Protestantism was strongly ascetic, advocating simplicity, and prohibiting extravagance and waste. During the 17th century British Civil War, the Puritan Whigs compared with the Catholic Royalists,The former is ridiculous and does not like to play, eating food that is difficult to swallow, while the latter prefers to enjoy the sensory stimulation of food.

The same is true in the United States. Puritans who immigrated from England to North America have inherited the "difficult to eat" English food tradition from the beginning. In the 19th century, French cuisine began to impact North American food culture as new immigrants landed in North America.In the United States, a "scientific diet" campaign against French cuisine has emerged. From the perspective of food nutrition, nutritionists have argued that the American diet is more scientific than French cuisine, so it is more admirable.

[Family Structure]

Family organization patterns under different religious and cultural backgrounds have also played an important role in the formation of food culture. In modern Europe, families in Catholic countries are mostly large families living in the same family, while in Nordic Protestant countries, almost allHusband and wife as the core family.

A society with a large family needs a longer menu. The dining table is not only an important link and tool for maintaining relationships and emotional communication within a family, but also an important means of social media. Therefore, a focus on enjoying the dietThe culture of sensory pleasure is an inevitable result.

In a society where couples are the core family in northern Europe, the functional requirements of diet as an emotional communication bond are weak. They do n’t spend a lot of time at the dinner table to exchange feelings, as Southern Europeans do.

The same is true in China.

In China, from the perspective of the breadth of food sources, Lingnan Guangdong, Fujian has no obvious advantage over the Yangtze River, especially in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Jiangnan has been the economic center of China for nearly a thousand years, and Lingnan cannot match it.In contrast, modern Cantonese cuisine has come to the fore in terms of its degree of attention, overwhelming Jiangnan with a deep tradition.

Although there are commercial factors in the rise of Cantonese cuisine, from a sociological point of view, the most prominent feature of Lingnan is the clan society. Due to the fierce conflict between the northern immigrants and the natives when they went south, the Lingnan region formed a unique clusterMany social villages are even distributed radially in the center, the most extreme of which is that the Hakkas built earthen buildings like castles.



Hakka, Chaoshan, and Minnan people are all clan society with strong centripetal force, although their living environment is different Hakka people mostly live in mountainous areas with inaccessible transportation and inadequate food, in terms of food ingredients and cooking preferencesThere are obvious differences, but in this extended family structure, the role of diet is extremely important, and each has developed a very complex diet culture.

No European Protestant asceticism has emerged in China, or it can be argued that there is a culture in China that focuses on enjoying the pleasure of food. But most of China is a small family with a husband and wife as its core, and its local cuisineIt mainly comes from the influence of government dishes or salt merchants. Although there are occasionally large families in the north, it is still not the same as the clan society in the southeast coastal area.

Today, high urbanization is rapidly eradicating differences in food culture in different regions, but the Spanish, Italians and French in Europe, the Cantonese and Fujianese in China are still the people who are most willing to spend time on food..

text / whigzhou Huang Zhangjin

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