Feast logo

Why do we always use the word "meal" when evaluating the delicious food?

by Mz zahid 4 months ago in history

Coarse grains such as corn flour and sorghum flour are good for the body, but in those days, people ate coarse grains not to keep fit, but to fill their stomachs.

I don’t know when, many people have developed the habit of watching dramas while eating, and the saying "plays with rice" also comes from this.

"Eat meal" was originally a word used by the Chinese to describe the deliciousness of a dish, and it can also be said to be the highest evaluation. Moreover, behind this small vocabulary is the epitome of China's rapid development.

The origin of the meal

For the previous generation, the "drinking" dishes basically refer to heavy oil and salty dishes. These are not very healthy foods in our opinion, but they are rare delicacies in the era of scarce resources.

Before the reform and opening up, food was scarce and monotonous. At that time, people's desire for "satisfaction" and yearning for food can be seen in various literary works. In Lu Yao's "The Ordinary World", Sun Shaoping, a young man from the countryside, was living in poverty at the time. When he was in school, he could only eat black sorghum noodle buns other than the three types of dishes. Sometimes he would like to steal leftovers to drink. The leftover soup mixed with rainwater under the basin.

At that time, the staple food often appeared on the people's dinner table. Most people ate coarse noodles from whole grains. The north was Wowotou, corn flour buns, and the south was also coarse brown rice. To be honest, it’s pretty good to have these, and wild vegetables and porridge are regulars at the dinner table. According to the season, the clever woman will use some natural ingredients to make locust tree flower paste rice cakes, elm tree money paste cakes, elm noodles pancakes and other "cuisines" to adjust the diet structure. As for rice and white noodles, they can only be used during the New Year. It's a slaying ceremony.

Wowotou in the 70s. Source/network

Coarse grains such as corn flour and sorghum flour are good for the body, but in those days, people ate coarse grains not to keep fit, but to fill their stomachs. One of the biggest problems with whole grains is that they are difficult to swallow, especially brown rice with bran, which is unpalatable to doubtful life.

If you want to swallow these whole grains, you have to eat as you go. But at that time, ordinary people did not have the delicacies of mountains and seas, no big fish or meat, or even fresh vegetables. Fresh vegetables are not only low-yield, they also need to be fried in oil. Most rural households can only dry fresh vegetables, add more coarse salt to make pickles, which can be stored, and can make the vegetables tasteful. Normally, it can increase people’s appetite and stimulate saliva. Gastric acid and other secretions are generally salty, spicy, and perhaps "sour" with relatively heavy flavors.

In addition to pickles, the most important dishes are radishes, potatoes, pumpkins, which are easy to store and have higher yields. Because there is no oil, most dishes can only be filled with coarse salt. If you can add a little oil, it will be considered top-quality. Heavy oil is always a dream in the hearts of the older generation, and does not exist in real life.

Don't look at these inconspicuous dishes, you can't let go of them. We must know that ordinary rural people put a little "meal" on a large bowl of rice all year round, and can only eat after eating.

Therefore, "getting rice" is the highest evaluation of cuisine in that era.

Changes in food after the reform and opening up

After the reform and opening up, grain production has increased significantly. The staple food of the common people began to improve significantly, mainly in rice and flour.

Previously, the rice that the common people ate was mainly brown rice. Brown rice only removed the husk of the rice, so the taste was quite rough, and it couldn’t be swallowed without “food”. These brown rice are supplied per person by ticket. Most of the brown rice bought from the grain store is aged rice in the warehouse. Before cooking, it is often necessary to wash and pick carefully: first rinse out the chaff with clean water, and then rinse the rice. The mixed sand, gravel and mud are picked out. There are not only various debris in the aging rice, but also the appearance is yellow and dull. The water is muddy when immersed in water, and the rice is not visible. The rice cooked with aged rice has an unspeakable smell when the pot is opened.

As for why rice was kept in warehouses, it was because the domestic and international environment in China was severe at the time, and the government needed to store grain to prepare for famine.

After the 1980s, japonica rice gradually became popular, and brown rice gradually came to an end. Japonica rice is also called "Penglai rice". It is round and short, and tastes soft and hard. Most of the rice we usually eat belongs to this type of japonica rice.

When the day gets better, japonica rice will naturally replace brown rice as the most important staple food. Since there is no longer a need to prepare for war and famine, the rice that the people buy is basically new rice. The new rice is very clean and does not need to be picked. When immersed in the water, every grain appears crystal clear.

Previously, flour also needed to be supplied by ticket. Like old rice and new rice, flour and noodles are also available in plain and white. Plain flour and noodles are aged and dark in color, while white flour and noodles are much brighter.

At that time, the top flour in China was "Fuqiang Powder". It didn't look pure white, but milky white. You could smell the natural and healthy smell of fresh food as soon as you opened the bag. Fuqiang powder was developed by a flour mill in Beijing in the 1960s. It was a famous brand product in Beijing. The name was Fuqiang powder, which also expressed people's desire to be prosperous and powerful at that time. Due to the aging equipment, limited processing capacity, and rough processing technology of the flour processing plant at that time, only 5 catties of rich flour can be processed for every 100 catties of wheat.

Wheat flour. Photography/Tanhua Broken Dreams, Source/Picture Worm Creative

Before 1949, Chinese flour was divided into No. 1, 2, 3, and No. 4 flour, the bulk of which was No. 2 flour, which was sold in various places under various trademarks. In the early 1950s, the original brand was gradually cancelled and unified to the first, second, and third-class powder. After the reform and opening up, ordinary families have been able to open their belly to eat flour, but most ordinary families eat flour, which is grayish "No. 2 flour", and the first-class refined noodles such as Fuqiang flour have become common people's dreams. Flour.

Until the 1990s, with the use of imported machinery and advanced processing techniques in flour mills, each 100 jin of wheat could produce 63 jin of rich flour, which is no longer the most high-end product in flour. Although Fuqiang Fan has lost its identity as a special product, in the hearts of the people, it is still the trump card in the flour.

As the staple food has changed from being difficult to swallow to having a moderate taste, the "dishes" has also changed accordingly. People no longer need heavy oil and salty vegetables, and pickles have become a supporting role. Regardless of the end of the world or the sea, the food supply has become very abundant, and the "food" has also begun to be colorful.

Four foods with different opinions

When commenting on Chinese cuisine, some foreigners said: "Chinese cuisine is so rich that anyone, who likes a taste alone, can find what he likes in Chinese cuisine."

How rich is Chinese cuisine? It is estimated that it is difficult to answer clearly. As the old saying goes: food has no fixed taste, and the taste is cherished! Therefore, it is impossible to select the recognized "four major dishes" in Chinese cuisine. We have compiled some of the "Four Dishes" identified by netizens themselves. The benevolent sees the benevolent, and the wise sees wisdom.

A Sichuan food blogger believes that the "four major dishes" are Mapo tofu, twice-cooked pork, Maoxuewang, and boiled pork . The tofu of Mapo Tofu is very beautiful after processing. The red color will be topped with some chopped green onions. The color is bright. Not only the tofu is particularly delicious, but the soup can also be eaten with two large bowls of rice. ; Twice-cooked pork is made with pork, green pepper and garlic sprouts as the main ingredients. It is made after two times of re-cooking. It is not only delicious in color and flavor, but the meat is fat but not greasy. Maoxuewang is the most classic chowder in Sichuan cuisine, with plenty of ingredients and flavor. Spicy and fragrant; the boiled meat is mainly prepared by cooking the chili, Chinese pepper, and bean paste together into the base material, and then put the beef in it and boil it, so this boiled meat is very soft and tender, and full of spicy flavor. !

Mapo tofu topped with rice. Photography/kenpqyp.dfic, Source/Picture Worm Creative

The "Four Dishes" identified by a Northeast food blogger are chicken stewed with mushrooms, pork stewed with vermicelli, ribs stewed with beans, catfish stewed with eggplant . Chicken stewed mushrooms, chicken and mushrooms are two kinds of "mountain game" stewed perfectly in an iron pan over low heat. The taste is delicious, tender and refreshing, nutritious, and very good for dinner; pure pork stewed vermicelli should be carefully selected. , Zhen chooses the food-fed stupid pig, takes the belly pork belly, and adds the crystal vermicelli made from Nehe potatoes. After the vermicelli is stewed, it absorbs the oil from the stewed pork belly, which is very delicious; the ribs are stewed with beans, beans and beans. The two ingredients of pork ribs echo each other, the taste is salty and fresh, which can be called an artifact for the meal; the stewed eggplant with catfish is a famous joke in the Northeast. The molecules of the two ingredients are broken up and recombined to form a new taste, which is imaginative. I want to drool.

Chicken stewed with mushrooms. Photography/Tang Tang Feng, Source/Creative Ideas

A food blogger who loves to eat all kinds of sauces thinks that the "four major dishes" should be mushroom sauce, soybean sauce, salted egg yolk sauce, and green pepper sauce . Mushroom sauce with grains of shiitake mushrooms, full of strength, rich sauce, very meaty, bibimbap and noodles are very convenient, fried rice and stir-fried vegetables are more fresh; soy bean paste has rich nutritional value, and it is particularly tasty; salted egg yolk sauce is salty and fragrant You can eat a lot of rice, and after you eat it, the cheeks will be fragrant; the spicy flavor of the rice with green pepper sauce is the most important thing. If you can eat garlic, you can add a little minced garlic during the production process. It will taste better. Speaking of green pepper sauce, the famous Yunnan cuisine "Black Sancho" must also have a name.

Black three chops. Source/network

A rural blogger believes that the "four major dishes" that rural people like most are moldy tofu, dried fish, toon sprouts, and salted duck eggs. Old people in rural areas pickled moldy tofu. A seasoning made of chili, pepper powder, pepper, and salt. After putting ginger slices in a jar, the tofu is put in with the seasoning. People who go out to work usually have to take one or two cans with them, which is really good for dinner; dried fish usually come from the small river ditch in the countryside. After being caught, they are pickled into spicy fish, which is especially delicious; toon is even more delicious. Simple and fancy, chop the toon, add chili and garlic, and mix it together to make two bowls of rice. Toon is a very seasonal wild vegetable, which lasts up to a week, so toon can only be enjoyed by rural people in many cases; the salted duck egg has a flavor of seasoning, not fishy, ​​and the yolk is sandy with butter and has the fresh fragrance of crab yellow!

In short, everyone has their own "four foods" in their hearts. They are not only the happiness in our ordinary life, but also the homesickness that we can never forget.

Concluding remarks

From the pursuit of fine grains to the matching of coarse and fine grains, it has become a consumer fashion. From pickles to all kinds of dishes, the changes in the meals are the increasing living standards of the people, which is a microcosm of historical changes.

We should also remember the hardships and sweetness, and cherish the hard-won happy life!


Mz zahid

Receive stories by Mz zahid in your feed
Mz zahid
Read next: RDs finally Answer If Dark Chocolate is Good For You

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2021 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.