3. Cooking And Preparing Food
The preparation of a meal is of high importance to the Chinese. They say food should have the following quantities:
- in aroma
- in taste
- to the eyes
- to the body
The reason for the attention given to the process of cooking and preparing food is the Chinese belief that the more the senses are pleasantly stimulated, the more favourable the impressions of the meals will be and the more effective will be the absorption of Chi into the body.
Since our bodies´ digestive systems cope differently with each food group, it is advised to break the intake of a few day´s worth of nutrition into the different food groups, separating meats, vegetables and carbohydrates, therefore reducing the likelihood of digestive problems.
1. Cooking Food
While some food combinations are beneficial for the body, others are not. Proportions of food and the effect of spices, salt and herbs should be considered as well as as the method of cooking, as those influence the quantity and nature of Chi.
It´s important to distinguish between preparing food and cooking, as the latter involves the application of heat.
There are no more different or opposing opinions than over the preparation of food – with both sides being neither right nor wrong.
While it is believed in TCM that cooked food is more easily digested than raw food, supporters of raw food diets state that the heating process destroys the nutrients, as well as it changes the structure of food.
Furthermore TCM states that there is a difference in the quality of food depending on the source of heat, like
- an open flame,
and that even the distance to the source of heat and the material used matter. It is undeniable that food tastes differently whether it is prepared on an open fire or in the microwave. It´s therefore valid to give these facts some consideration.
The way a meal is designed and presented determines a certain pattern of Chi:
- the choice of plate on which the meal is served
- the layout of the food
- the colours, tastes and aromas of the parts of the meal and how they blend into each other
represent a multidimensional form of art (called “Mukimono” in Japanese) that substantially affects the quality of Chi on a plate.
However, presentation is not limited to the plate, but incorporates the whole environment where the meal is taken.
Consideration of comfortable
- light and sound
creates an ambience that is beneficial to the dining experience.
Read the previous articles in the serie: