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Explore Chinese culture through its gastronomy

illustration of a bowl of beans with a ceramic spoon, against an abstract background

Our new online hub on Google Arts and Culture offers a peek into China’s vast culinary world. Imagine a food culture that has been evolving for thousands of years, with each dish carrying its own unique story. With food so tightly woven into its culture, you can learn about China’s traditions and history through its extensive gastronomy — from particular dishes to chopstick history to regional variations.

a birds eye view of a round table with several bowls, chopsticks, and dishes like rice, greens, and dumplings

Chinese gastronomy is an art form that goes beyond just satisfying your taste buds. It's about indulging all your senses, a harmony of color, aromas, tastes, and shapes in every dish. Historically, Chinese cultures intertwined agricultural preferences with patterns in the stars, guiding food consumption based on the 24 Solar Terms. Our exhibit also delves into the intriguing world of food therapy, where specific ingredients are believed to have healing properties.

Chinese culture also boasts a well-established etiquette system that's been refined over thousands of years. Learn all of the dos and don'ts of using chopsticks, the quintessential utensil that’s existed for thousands of years.

And of course, what's a Chinese feast without tea? From its humble beginnings as a medicinal remedy and subsequently an offering divine, we'll explore the profound meanings behind the art of tea in China's unique tea culture.

an illustration of several hands holding chopsticks and a few bowls of food

Do you prefer the subtle savory elegance of Beijing hot pot, or the fiery intensity of Sichuan’s version? With its vast territory, each area in China has its own culinary history, customs and dishes. From the fiery flavors of Sichuan to the delicate dim sum of Guangdong, each region has something unique to offer— evolving into a diverse tapestry of regional variations.

But it's not just about the flavors. It's also about the stories behind the dishes. For example, regional breakfasts are shaped by geography, climate and cultural practices— while other dishes have become beloved staples across the country, blurring regional lines from north to south, east to west.

an illustration of a steamer with dumplings, a corn on the cob, a hard boiled egg, a bowl of rice, chopsticks, a spoon

A typical Chinese breakfast spread

With this Chinese culinary exhibit, we hope to be able to give people all around the world a chance to learn about China’s intricate culinary traditions. Explore A Taste of China on the Google Arts & Culture website or download the Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app.

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