There are many different expectations people have when arriving to China, especially when considering traditional food. Common dishes are far from the myths that are commonly heard about eating insects and other small uncommon reptiles. These can be mostly offered for tourists at night markets, such as the busy “Wangfujing Night Market”.
Chinese cuisine mainly relies on rice, noodles, or in the case of Beijing, rounded white bread buns or savoury pancakes to act as side dishes for what is mostly eaten. Meat is cut in small pieces so that it’s easily eaten using chop sticks, it is well-known that cutting is left as a task for the cooks, making the whole process much easier and faster.
A traditional Chinese lunch or supper at a restaurant will have cold dishes as starters based on raw vegetables all chopped up, followed by cooked vegetables, with meat in some cases, and bowls of plain rice as side dishes.
China is such a big country, that one of the main differences is the way people cook, having different styles among traditional Chinese dishes. Food in Shanghai is lighter than in Beijing, being much more spicy and oily in the capital, while
Sichuan and Yunnan are commonly known for having very spicy food. All very different from each other, some being sour-spices, numb-spices or hot-spices.
One of the tasks of living here is getting used to different flavours, how to eat and usual eating times, however cities such as Beijing or Shanghai still offer a variety of different foreign-style food restaurants.