There is many an old wives’ tale knocking around Asia, but few more repeated than those concerning food. The Chinese especially have fascinating philosophies regarding cuisine – theories which are said to date back to as early as 2,000BC. Some of these tales have transcended generations to the present day and morphed into what’s known as Chinese Food Therapy.
The basic principle of Chinese Food Therapy is that all foods have either a ‘hot’, ‘cold’ or ‘neutral’ effect on the body – but none are to do with physical temperature. Too many ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ foods create an imbalance in the body, leading to health problems and even disease.
For example, we recently wrote a blog about durian, a fruit which is well-known to be a ‘hot’ food. We also mentioned the dangers of durian when mixed with alcohol – which also rests on the ‘hot’ end of the scale.
Although scientists can now confirm that mixing these two is bad news medically, the so-called ‘old wives’ have known of the link around Asia for years. In fact, scientists could even consult the experts as to the ideal counter-food for durian. Anyone consuming too much of the opinion-dividing fruit can simply munch on some mangosteen – the Queen of Fruit is an appropriate equalizer for the King.
The key to this style of therapy is to know which foods are which, and ensure a balance is kept at all times. No easy task, without being an expert of encyclopedic proportions. Commonly, knowledge like this is passed down through generations, but if you’d like to try it and don’t have a Chinese grandmother with a scary recollection of all the food classifications, you may want to pick up a book to have a quick reference guide to hand.
If you’d like to take a tour of China’s varied cuisine, Backyard Travel can arrange a tailor-made tour to investigate the unique foods of the vast Asian nation. From Peking Duck to goat testicles, you can try anything and everything on an exploration of China’s weird and wonderful cuisine. For more information, contact one of our expert local Travel Specialists who will be more than happy to help you plan your dream vacation!