It is generally admitted that the expression ‘traditional food’ refers to a product with specific raw materials, and/or with a recipe known for a long time, and/or with a specific process. China has a wealth of traditional foods such as Chinese steamed bread, Chinese noodles, Chinese rice noodles, Starch noodles (Vermicelli), Tofu, Sofu (soybean cheese), douchi (fermentation soybean), Chinese vinegar and many other foods. These traditional foods are an important component of Chinese people’s diet and the basis for their food habits and nutrition. They also constitute an essential aspect of their cultural heritage and related closely to the Chinese people’s historical background and to the environment in which they live. During the last few decades, the development of international food trade and the extensive urbanization process which have affected life-styles to a large extent in many parts of the world have resulted in a sizeable decrease in the consumption of some kinds of traditional foods and a relative neglect in the cultivation of traditional food crops. Some traditional foods had withered away or are withering away. In recent years, as a result of food globalization, the consumption of traditional foods has increased considerably and many of these foods are concurrent with easy-to-prepare, processed, semi-processed and high-tech foods. It was decided therefore that a book should be carried out to document existing Chinese traditional foods in China and to assess their nutritional value and contribution to the diet. Among many new works on food, however, few studies address the Chinese foodways, despite their enormous and continual influence on local food habits around the world. Even classic works on Chinese food provide us with only basic information about China itself, or interpret Chinese foodways in the restricted local food scene and within Chinese history. This new book, however provides, an up-to-date reference for traditional Chinese foods and a detailed background of history, quality assurance, and the manufacture of general traditional food products. It contains topics not covered in similar books.
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