"Food has an important place in Chinese culture". I don't know where I read this- and at this time of the day is even harder to remember details- but it's not difficult to agree.
Food is everywhere in China. Whatever direction you look your eyes will catch someone cooking, someone selling fruits, someone arranging tables or sharpening the chopsticks for the next meal. In the restaurants, menus are huge and food variety is immense. Lots of veggies, incredible ways to cook organs and intern parts and pork dishes in almost all places (excluding muslim restaurants, obviously). In other words, it looks to me that every single part of the animal or vegetal is qualified for cooking. And ready to be eaten.
Yunnan, in the southwest part of the country, has a delicious cuisine and the food is spicy and delicious. Fresh ingredients are used in the dishes and they are the few to use cheese in their meals. In that region they fry buffalo milk cheese and serve as dessert (with condensed milk).
If someone tells me that is starving in China, I wouldn't believe. Together with several Chinese restaurants or kiosks you can also find western fast food in all towns, including the small ones. KFC, McDonalds, Subway. It's everywhere. But not healthy, you would say.
You would be right, but let me tell you something about my impression of the Chinese food. Although is delicious and flavorful it's not that healthy as I thought. In most parts I've been in China, from Beijing down to Pingyao, Xian and Shanghai, I found the food greasy and dripping oil. Oil, oil, oil, fried, fried, fried, deeper fried, stirred with oil, boiled and served with oil... Delicious to eat once a week, but definitely would affect the system of those searching for a healthy meal.
My statements are, of course, based in my experiences so far. Tomorrow we are going to Hangzhou, and after three nights, to Xiamen. Let's see how the food is down there.
I will try to write a post about wine in China. Oh boy, that's a experience.