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Soup, Always Soup

Chinese rarely sit down to a lunch or dinner that does not include soup (in the case of noodle soup, soup is the meal). Unlike the Western custom of having soup before the main course, Chinese prefer to eat soup during or towards the end of a meal. At a casual meal people tend to pick up the bowl and drink directly from it; in a more formal setting, spoons are required. At a banquet several soup dishes may be consumed, always with the traditional flat-bottomed ceramic spoon.

 
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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The Origins of Chopsticks

Chopsticks have been dug from burial plots that are at least 3,200 years old. Some surmise that they evolved from a practice of using a wooden stick while cooking on an open fire to prod, stir or move food. It is fairly easy to imagine how a pair of sticks came to be used like tongs.

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