China Food: The Life of a Vegetarian in China

The food in China is one of the main tourist attractions, and key components to understanding Chinese culture.

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[Samsung ST550(TL225) 1/15sㅣf3.5 ㅣISO 240ㅣ4.9mm]



Eating in China you are likely encounter many new dishes and flavors you never imagined, especially if your idea is based upon Chinese cuisine from America or other western countries. Beijing vegetarian/vegan for nearly 15 years, I have become quite accustomed in navigating my way around menus and restaurants in America.

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Yet, eating in a foreign country is one of the splendid treasures of travel, but can also be a treacherous adventure. Since coming to China for professional outings last year, I learned quickly how important sharing a meal with others can be in Chinese culture.

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In China relationships are born across the dinner plate, and those who break bread together may continue forward as life long friends, colleagues, or business partners.

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Not partaking in the meal is certainly awkward in most countries, however it can be perceived as down right criminal in China. The Chinese diet is hardly deficient of all-vegetable or mostly-vegetable options.

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[Samsung ST550(TL225) 1/15sㅣf4.1 ㅣISO 240ㅣ6.5mm]



In fact, many dishes are mostly vegetable with a small amount of meat added for flavor. I’ve found being in China offers many delicious options for vegetarians, and the lack of cheese, mayo, and dairy products in Chinese cooking makes ordering a meal even less problematic than in America.



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