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Chinese kitchens


Ian_Lee
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Here is a comparison between Chinese kitchen (mainly HK’s, but those kitchens of new high-rises built in Shanghai and Shenzhen got the similar design) and western kitchen (mainly US and Canada):

(1) Chinese kitchen is mainly for functional purpose while western kitchen is mainly for aesthetic value;

(2) The range in Chinese kitchen predominantly uses gas while western kitchen usually uses electricity;

(3) Chinese kitchen is usually closed kitchen with fire resistant door while western kitchen is usually open kitchen and may be located in the center of the house/apartment;

(4) Chinese like to eat outside of the kitchen while Americans like to eat inside of the kitchen;

(5) Most Chinese kitchens have electric rice cookers while most western kitchens have huge ovens;

(6) Microwave is more often used in western kitchens than Chinese kitchens;

(7) Hood in Chinese kitchen is always connected by pipe to outside while hood in western kitchen is usually circulatory;

(8 ) Corian and granite counter-tops are preferred in western kitchens while many Chinese kitchens are equipped with stainless steel counter-tops;

(9) Chinese kitchen usually has water drain outlet on the floor while western kitchen doesn’t have;

(10) Most Chinese kitchens don't have disposal and seldom have dishwasher. But they are almost standard features in western kitchens;

(11) The product is usually inversely proportional to the abundance of equipments. Even though generally western kitchen is more fancy, the product out of it is usually cold meal like sandwich most of the time. Even though Chinese kitchen is less fancy, sometimes the product can be amazingly complicated and delicate.

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Sorry about being a nitpicker, but even though you do mention that you use "Western kitchen" to mean American and Canadian kitchen, I'd still like to point out that these things vary greatly from country to country in the Western world. The West is not culturally unified - though the same probably goes for China. I think Europe is an important part of "the West", so you can't really say anything meaningful about western things if you ignore the complexity of European countries altogether. But probably at least 5, 6, 9 and 10 go for most European kitchens as well.

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(2) The range in Chinese kitchen predominantly uses gas while western kitchen usually uses electricity;

A figure I read was 42% gas in the U.S. and currently experiencing a slight upsurge in sales because of its associated lower costs and better cooking performance.

(5) Most Chinese kitchens have electric rice cookers while most western kitchens have huge ovens;

I'm really struggling to figure out why this is so true.

(6) Microwave is more often used in western kitchens than Chinese kitchens;

So when I walk into a department store in China and see between 20 and 40 (one store had 62) models of microwave ovens on display, they're meant for all the expats living in China?

(10) Most Chinese kitchens don't have disposal and seldom have dishwasher. But they are almost standard features in western kitchens;

I beg to differ, in "kitchens of new high-rises built in Shanghai and Shenzhen" I believe they're called ayi.

(11) The product is usually inversely proportional to the abundance of equipments. Even though generally western kitchen is more fancy, the product out of it is usually cold meal like sandwich most of the time. Even though Chinese kitchen is less fancy, sometimes the product can be amazingly complicated and delicate.

Yup, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cold cereal, sandwiches, and leftover pizza really hit the spot. And because Americans are so lazy and wasteful, we have dishwashers and disposals.

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I think Europe is an important part of "the West", so you can't really say anything meaningful about western things if you ignore the complexity of European countries altogether.

I have homestayed in England for a couple of weeks. I found out that they are more interested in the silverware than the food itself.

So when I walk into a department store in China and see between 20 and 40 (one store had 62) models of microwave ovens on display, they're meant for all the expats living in China?

Microwave is almost exclusively used for defrosting meat or heating dinner leftover in Chinese kitchen. But in American kitchen, they really use microwave for cooking.

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In Europe people use microwave ovens for defrosting and heating leftovers too.

I think the difference in the presence vs. absence of microwave ovens in a kitchen has more to do with the relative wealth of a place than with culture. I would think most people in HK have a microwave oven whereas most people in Gansu province don't. Similarly, in Europe, most people in Switzerland own one and most people in Moldova don't. The same applies to dishwashers.

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Jose:

I don't quite agree on dishwasher.

Even very high-end apartments in HK don't install dishwasher.

Why? Very simple.

The owner may be very picky about all other fixtures in the kitchen, i.e. fridge, range, countertop,....etc which may more or less affect the look of a kitchen or the quality of the cuisine. But he/she would never care about how the dishes are washed because he/she never has to do it.

So why install a dishwasher when a Filipino or Indonesian maid can do the job more efficiently?

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Yup, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cold cereal, sandwiches, and leftover pizza really hit the spot. And because Americans are so lazy and wasteful, we have dishwashers and disposals.

is this really true??? hmm... i have a feeling it probably is...

btw are americans in general plumper than their eastern counterparts?

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My gut feeling is that Americans are only lazy in food. They work harder than a lot of other nationals do.

Americans are not just lazy in cooking. They are even lazy in eating. That is why so many people buy takeouts from Chinese restaurants because there are at least more varieties in Chinese food than American food.

I heard that tomato has over 50 by-products in Italy. But in US, there is only one -- Ketchup.

Well, Americans are lazy in eating but diligent in playing. Just see how many sports and theme parks they have.

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