How does Chinese food amaze the world?

For many Chinese, a bowl of street noodle is a life necessity and the most common food. But in London, people line up for more than one hour to get a bowl of Chongqing street noodle, is that not strange? The owner of this noodle booth, Zhengbo Zhou,comes from Sichuan province, he runs a noodle restaurant in Chongqing. In July 2015 he received an invitation from the London Chongqing chamber of business to participate in the Chinese food festival held by the Thames River in September. Mr. Zhou went to London with bags of Sichuan flower pepper, hot pepper powder, and materials he though would last three days, but the enthusiastic Londoners devoured all of his noodles within 2 hours. A bowl of Chongqing street boodle this like costs 6 Yuan in China, but in London it costs 6 ponds (equivalent to 60 Yuan); in three days, Mr. Zhou sold 1500 bowls of street noodle, he was surprised by the British people’s appreciation of Chongqing’s famous spicy street noodle. When people asked him where is his restaurant, he answered: “on the way”.

There are numerous stories of how Chinese street food conquered local people’ stomach in a foreign place, such as the success of Wuhan’s signature food: hot and dry sesame noodle in Florence,Italy. Here is another example: in the street of Seattle, you can see a booth selling Tianjin city’s special pancake wrap! The owner of the booth is an American girl named Anna; she lived in China for a year and a half where she taught English. While she travelled in China, she became fond of Tianjin’s pancake warp and discovered different recipes. After returning to the US, she set up the first Chinese pancake wrap in the northeastern part of the United States. She put up a board in the booth and it stats all the varieties customers can choose, such as adding egg, spring onion, coriander, pickle, chili source and sweet source etc., her creations not only preserves original Chinese recipe, they also absorbs American tastes by adding hot dog, cheese etc. Now, Anna’s little booth is attracting both Chinese and American costumers everyday.

So, why has Chinese street food become so popular in foreign countries? Three reasons may explain this trend.

Firstly: curiosity. Many foreigners are attracted to traditional Chinese culture, and tasting Chinese food is part of getting to know Chinese culture. Besides, Chinese food has very different material-selection and making methods, people’s curiosity can drive them to try Chinese street food for fun.

Secondly, the thirst for delicious food is universal. Food-lovers are eager to try new and exciting cuisines. Chinese street food has amazing variety and incredible flavors, for food lovers these are the qualities that allure their mouth and hearts.

And this brings to the third reason: adaptation. The first question many Chinese people need to think about when they decide to open a restaurant in a foreign country is: “what is they don’t like it?” No matter it is hot and dry sesame noodle or pancake, those successful businessmen made adaptations based on the original recipes. This is the same reason why KFC and McDonald offer different food in the world. When original Chinese street food embraces new elements from different food cultures and adapts to local people’s tastes, they become innovative and irresistible.

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