In just over 25 years, China has managed tobecome a manufacturing powerhouse, holding a lion’s share amounting to 25% percent ofworldwide production – a far cry from a measly 3% back in the 1990s.
Now, it’s almost impossible to find anythingthat didn’t come from an assembly line in one of its many mega factories.
The International Business Times estimatesthat more than 70% of mobile phones sold worldwide are made in China.
International tech brand Apple, even has anentire “iPhone City” dedicated to making its popular line of mobile phones.
So many things are made in China that eventhe things you thought were not made in China, were made in China.
And because I love talking about food in thisvideo im gonna tell you about 5 foods that were Chinese food first.
First of all, ketchup – fixed condimentto distinctively American dishes like the classic burger and fries and Fourth of Julyhot dogs – has its roots in staple Chinese ingredients.
Food historians believe that ketchup originatedfrom nuoc mam, fish sauce made from fermented anchovies, introduced by Vietnamese fishermento Chinese seafarers 500 years ago while passing through ports in Southeast Asia.
The Chinese called the pungent concoctionkê-tsiap, Hokkien for sauce made from preserved fish.
And as their ships made its way through portsin Southeast Asia, the name went through different permutations like the Indonesian kecap andthe Malay kitjap.
Kê-tsiap made its way to Western shores whenDutch and British sailors started trading with the Chinese in the 17th century.
Sailors being sailors, they brought back booze– arrack, an alcoholic brew of fermented red rice, molasses, and palm wine – andkê-tsiap along with it.
By 1699, kê-tsiap became “catchup” and wasfirst mentioned in the New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crewas “a high East-India Sauce.
” It became such a hit with the British, thatsoon, recipes for ketchup started popping up in England.
But ketchup wasnt always the ketchup you knowof today because Chinese ketchup used ingredients such as walnuts, oysters, mushrooms, cloves,ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, anchovies, and other spices and Tomato won’t be an ingredient ofketchup until 1812, which came by way of horticulturist James Mease, who came up with a recipe usingtomato pulp, an array of spices, and brandy.
Although this sans anchovies recipe is closerto the British palette.
And in 1870, American Henry J.
Heinz addedvinegar to the recipe as a preservative to the natural preservatives found in tomatoescalled pectin.
He also added sugar to appeal to the Americantaste buds.
Now, 97% of American households have a bottleof ketchup in their pantry.
Ice cream is another example of an all-Americanfavorite that have its origins from China.
According to Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, authorof the History of Food, we can all thank China for bringing the best post-breakup cure ina pint there ever was, into the world and direct to our fridge.
Her research shows that the Chinese createda contraption that uses saltpetre to freeze a mix of snow, buffalo milk, syrup, camphor,flour, and fruits into frozen desserts.
There are also recipes that use overcookedrice, honey, and spices.
Because ice is a precious commodity, ice creamis only afforded to royalty.
Like King T’ang of Shang, who was believedto have 94 “ice men” at his beck and call to get ice for the palace, should he get acraving for some smooth sorbet.
But ice cream’s journey to the West is anythingbut smooth.
There are two versions of the story.
The most popular one being that Marco Poloencountered ice cream in his travels to Asia, loved it so much that he brought both techniqueand recipes with him to Italy and made something that’s close to a sherbet.
The less summer blockbuster version of events,is that ice cream was brought back from China through trade routes across the Arab continents.
It was introduced to the Persians, who broughtit back to Italy in the 8th century during the Islamic conquests.
When talking about sushi, we have to firstknow that Sushi doesnt mean raw fish.
It actually refers to the vinegared rice andthatever filling or topping that came with it and that may inlude raw fish.
Sushi was said to have originated betweenthe 5th and 3rd century BC.
Back then because there was of course no refrigerators,people had to find a way to keep meat fresh.
So they would cure the meats and fish andwrap it in rice to preserve its freshness.
This was then left to ferment and people discoveredthat by doing this, the fish and meats could last months longer than hust curing alone.
Then later the meat inside the rice was eatenand the rice was thrown away.
In the 700s This method of preserving foodthen spread to japan and of course there, people ate a lot of fish.
So the Japanese would do the same and usethis method to ferment the fish and loved it so much that the japanese government evenaccepted it as tax payment.
Hmmm imagine now sending the IRS some stinkyfish every year.
Like I mentioned sushi became really popularin Japan but it died out in China.
Some think this was because when the mongoliansconquered china, they prefered red meat and didnt like fish too much.
Anyway, by the 1400 people started to eatthe fermented rice with the fish, they couldnt do this before because after months, the ricewas just nasty but they discovered that eating it weeks into the fermentation process insteadof months, resulted in something delicious.
Then in the 1600 rice vinigar was createdfrom sake and people found that by adding it to the rice it created the same sour flavorwith no need for fermentation.
Then shortly after that sushi became a popularfast food because workers in Edo or modern day tokyo needed something convient to eaton the go and because of the great fire of meireki, open flames were banned during certaintimes of the day and of course with sushi, no fire is needed.
And Nearly 100 years later, when Tokyo wasdominated by food service stalls, and poeple wanted sushi immidiatly which led the wayfor nigiri or Hand-squeezed sushi which is what most of us are familiar with today.
When I mention kiwis, people will auomaticallythink new zealand.
Which makes sense cause that is New Zealand’sdefining agricultural product, generating over $1.
05 billion in exports every singleyear.
But Kiwi fruits were actually called gooseberrieshas its roots in china and was known to the chinese as mihoutao or literally, the peachthat can charm monkies It wasn’t until 1904 that a missionary namedIsabel Frasier brought the seeds from China to New Zealand after she visited mission schoolsin China.
The seeds were planeted in 1906 and becausepeople thought the fruit had sort of a gooseberry flavor so they started calling it chinesegooseberrys which turned out was a horrible name when they tried marketing the fruit toamerican in the 1950s during the cold war.
In 1959 the name kiwifruit was brought upand stuck.
In China, alcohol is also called the “Waterof History” because stories of liquor can traced back to almost every period in Chinesehistory.
And the story goes back really really far.
In fact the earliest proof of an alcoholicbeverage dates back to Northern China 9,000 years ago.
The ‘cocktail’ was a mixed drink of fermentedrice, honey, hawthorn fruit and/or grape.
In ancient China, since alcohol was regardedas a sacred liquid only when people made sacrificial offerings to Heaven and the Earth or ancestorswas it used.
After the Zhou dynasty, alcohol was deemedas one of the Nine Rites, and every dynasty put great emphasis on alcohol administrationto set up special ministries to manage alcohol production and banqueting.
Later, along with the development of zymotechnicsand brewery, alcohol became an ordinary drink.
Thus, many customs concerning alcohol formedand evolved which had and have various relationships withChinese daily life.