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Bread, Cakes etc.

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Shelley    1,143

Thanks roddy for prompting me to ask this question:D


I was asking if bread, cakes, etc as I know here them in the UK have been a part of Chinese cuisine in some form, before the 20th century and the arrival of western influences to the general population.


It came up as a result of this discussion here https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54917-too-many-potatoes-土豆泥煎饼-mashed-potato-pancakes/?tab=comments#comment-423729


Does your experience of kitchens in China include ovens? Do you miss one, have you found a substitute?





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abcdefg    2,379
On 9/12/2017 at 8:29 PM, Shelley said:

I was asking if bread, cakes, etc as I know here them in the UK have been a part of Chinese cuisine in some form, before the 20th century and the arrival of western influences to the general population.


I wasn't here before the 20th century, but If asked to give a short general answer to your question, I'd say "no," bread and cakes are not a major part of Chinese cuisine, even today. Then I would begin listing the exceptions to that broad statement.


1. Parts of China, particularly west and northwest, have a well-developed tradition of flat breads baked on a griddle or baked inside high-temperature clay ovens. 烧饼 and similar.

2. Other parts of China, in fact most of China I'd say, have a well-developed tradition of steamed buns. These are the baozi 包子 and similar.

3. In many places one also finds soft, fluffy, and thick skillet-made egg pancakes. 蛋饼 and similar. Popular as a street breakfast item.

4. A myriad of large, thin pancakes exists, most sold after adding a stuffing or filling. Popular street vendor fare. 葱油饼 and similar.


The loaf breads that one now finds in supermarkets have a texture and flavor that are not the same as in the west. Often these tend to be sweet and the crumb is cake-like. Cakes are baked in the western style for sale to a "westernized" segment of the populace. Lots of trendy bake shops are on the streets, even in Kunming. Don't think I have ever seen traditional western pies here, such as Mom's apple pie, cherry pie, etc.


Might be different today in more cosmopolitan places like Beijing or Shanghai. Someone else will have to help with that.


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dwq    149

If you accept the legend that mooncakes were used to coordinate a rebellion during the Yuan dynasty (13th century?), then they existed back then. Whether they are baked like modern ones is a different question.

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Jim    13

I think shaobing 烧饼 came in pretty early, was reading something saying the idea was picked up out of Persia back in the Tang.

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