Is “Deshi Chinese” cuisine the true form of Chinese cuisine?
Nawal Naz |
Sept. 15, 2021, 11:23 a.m.
As a symbol of heritage and identity, food plays a varied appeal of flavors that remains unique to a specific race, place or people. Through the pages of time, the culture of adapting a different cuisine and giving it a familiar touch of taste has created breathtaking culinary excellence, as well as an unappetizing disaster.
Chinese cuisine is considered the epicenter of this culinary art. Now the question arises, does the form of ‘Chinese’ that we have come to know and love in local restaurants and takeaways really resemble and pay homage to the authentic culinary styles of China? Or is it an indulgent and imprecise combination of several cuisines relevant to our Deshi culture?
The adapted form of Chinese delicacies has taken deep root in Bengali culture being a staple form of nostalgia for everyone since the 1980s. Remember those healthy / delicious days, when our parents took us to the prominent taverna Chinese to celebrate small forms of happiness? We wish we could go back in time for nostalgia sake! Almost every millennial has the experience of going to their local Chinese restaurants as a family where they order the usual “Chinese menu” of fried rice with sides of fried chicken, Chinese vegetables, salad and, ironically, d ‘a starter of “thai” wonton soup. Although fried rice was first developed during the Sui Dynasty in China, our Deshi counterpart that we know well in our households is more in line with the Malaysian style of Nasi fried rice. Goreng The sides of the fried chicken are from South America Meanwhile, the vegetable dish is a mix of our Deshi techniques and spices with the dish: Clear Chinese Vegetable Soup.
You probably know that the Chinese food at your take out outlet is not traditional Chinese food. It is strongly Americanized. Being the most populous country, the Chinese have an array of authentic cuisines that are incredibly diverse and very different from region to region. This means that expanding your palate to the world of traditional Chinese cuisine can be an adventure in itself. The most important regional cuisines in China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan and Zhejiang. Traditional Chinese dishes are famous for their color, aroma, taste, meaning and appearance. Basing Chinese cuisine on a few five to eight dishes is a gross oversimplification.
Based on the raw materials and ingredients used, the method of preparation and cultural differences, a variety of foods with different flavors and textures are prepared in different regions of the country. Many traditional terroirs kitchen count on basic preservation methods such as drying, salting, pickling and fermentation. Seasonings such as fresh ginger root, garlic, green onion, cilantro, and sesame are widely used in many regional cuisines. Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and white peppers are also used in different regions. Although most of these ingredients have congruent or similar substitutes, Chinese mushrooms, dried small shrimp, dried tangerine peel, and dried Sichuan chili peppers are very rare in the relative spectrum of our Deshi spoilage. Besides the spices, the biggest difference is in the flavor and the distinction is in their diverse use of sauces, vinegar and wines: hoisin sauce, ground bean sauce and yellow bean sauce. There are also different sauces preferred by regional cuisines, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and furu (fermented tofu) are also widely used. The vinegar also has a variety of different flavors: Clear rice vinegar, Chinkiang black rice vinegar, Shanxi vinegar, Henghe vinegar, etc.
Perhaps the most overlooked part of our Deshi approach to Chinese cuisine is its desserts. China is famous for its sweet delicacies ranging from Baozi with red beans to Tangyuan (sweet soup balls). This is yet another adventure in itself that has yet to receive a Bengali touch from Deshi indulgence.
Despite such drastic contrasts between the two, connectivity comes from countless memories of happy occasions at successful weddings, birthdays and parties. According to Taha Yasir Talukdar, an intern at Cognita College Counseling, the aroma, visuals and taste are an ambassador of nostalgia entangled in pockets of euphoria. The sense that this food conveys cannot be reduced to a simple taste, it goes beyond emotions and comfort. “As a child, I still remember slipping through the kitchen door, amid all the aroma that was wafting through the apartment. I took a small piece to taste it while my mother was smiling in all her flowers, ”says Taha. In the end, that’s all that makes food more meaningful.
Although most of the people in our country adore Chinese Deshi cuisine, they lack enthusiasm for the traditional and authentic version. Chinese food Deshi is mouthwatering; However, people should also know that authentic Chinese flavors are also worth trying. In this way, people will discover the origin of the utterly exciting taste of Chinese Deshi that we all know and love. When it comes to the best form of Chinese cuisine, it really comes down to a matter of personal preference. However, the offerings of emotional anecdotes from our Deshi adaptation and the endless journey of flavor and diversity in traditional Chinese cuisine make the two stand out in significant ways.
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