Posted in Chinese

Culinary Chinese 101: A Homely Character…

A Homely Character 1

For those of you who have been following these Chinese language posts, the 菜 character (grass-claw-tree) ought to be leaping out at you from the covers of the three cookery books pictured above. You may also be able to guess, from the context, that the titles of the books refer to some type of cuisine.

We have already looked the Chinese characters specifically indicating Sichuan cuisine (川菜 or 四川菜) and Beijing cuisine (京菜 or 北京菜). In those cases, the characters preceding the ‘cài’ refer to a province and a city respectively. Here, however, the 家常 before the 菜 doesn’t refer to a location at all…  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese 101: A Homely Character…”

Posted in Chinese

Culinary Chinese: ‘Wei’ to go…

CC Wei to go 1

Today’s first picture is essentially the same as the final one in last week’s post. In that lesson, we saw that a restaurant may advertise itself as featuring   ‘Chuān cài’ (川菜), or ‘Jīng cài’ (京菜), and mean, respectively, that Sichuan or Beijing (northern) cuisine is served. As in the above picture (and our lesson 2 weeks ago), we also saw that 川味 (‘chuān wèi’) or 京味 (Jīng wèi) might be specified. If you recall, I asked you to consider what the ‘Wei’ part might mean…  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese: ‘Wei’ to go…”

Posted in Chinese

Culinary Chinese 101: Another Cuisine…

CC Beijing Cuisine 1

Last week, we learned that the characters 川菜 appearing on a restaurant sign or menu indicate that Sichuan cuisine is served. If you recall, the 川 character, pronounced ‘chuān’, frequently appears alone as an abbreviation for 四川, or ‘Sìchuān’.

Now take a look at the above picture… You will easily be able to find the川菜 characters again. Even without any English words as a help, you can correctly conclude that both restaurants in question have Sichuan dishes on the menu. However, that does not tell the whole story as both places, in fact, specialize in two different cuisines and we can tell that by looking at the character immediately preceding the ‘Chuān cài’ characters ….  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese 101: Another Cuisine…”