A Bite of China


Picture by 帅 邵 (Shuai Shao)



On May 14, 2012, the China Central Tele Vision (CCTV) established a series documentary name “A Bite of China (舌尖上的中国)” and primarily introduced Eco-Gastronomy in various China’s regions.Every province has its representative dish. Through the angle China’s food, as a TV show, not only did CCTV focused on different styles, tastes, and cooking methods from different areas, but it also was willing to show what ceremony, ethics, thinking modes and lifestyles as a unique culture could be brought to Chinese in their daily life. According to the TV show, audiences around the world would understand China’s special food ingredients and other relative elements; understand its food culture and history.

CCTV spent 13 months for only seven parts of the documentary, and it was released in China, Taiwan, Singapore and other Asian countries. At the same time, other country audiences beyond Asia also can watch it in English, French, and Spanish version via China Network Television (CNTV) official website. Therefore, the TV show utilizes China’s food as a window to spread the traditional and modern culture.

The director Chen Xiaoqing said “We are not focusing on famous chefs or dishes, but we would like to introduce the ordinaries’ home cooking in China.” Based on her perspective and scene, it’s effective to show the story and relation between people, food, and society. In other words, we can see through food to perceive society and humanity. The director and her team created a milestone on China’s documentary because they elaborate people’s relations through food.

There is an old Chinese saying that “Do not talk while eating and sleeping.” Food for Chinese people is not mere things that sustain life, but it seems more like a ceremony. With the development of society and technology, industrialization can destroy a family’s reunion, or even reduce people’s perception of family values. However, it cannot deprive Chinese people’s passion and belief on handmade food.

Eating, is always our belief. If American say “In God we trust,” then we would like to say “in food we trust.” Even though Chinese food always slows our pace of life while the pace is increasing with technological advancements; less Chinese refuse it because of the long-standing culture and history.




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