Chinese people believe that each place has its own way to nurture the inhabitants. In broad and extensive China, the differences of living or eating habits between north and south are quite conspicuous, many of which are usually seen as funny jokes making people laugh out loud.
First and foremost, the staple food of two parts are totally different. In general, southern people eat rice very regularly, but northern people prefer noodles or other food made of flour. Both sides can not even imagine how the life might be if they themselves eat rice or noodles reversely everyday. That’s unbearable.
When southerners say “Chi Fan(eat)”, they mean eating rice almost. While northerners say “Chi Fan(eat)”, they may refer to any of the three meals a day or anything that they want to eat. So if you ask a southerner, “-What do you want for lunch? -Fan.” Do not get angry by misunderstanding that the guy treats your question perfunctorily. Instead, he is truly going to eat rice(usually with vegetables or meet) as lunch.
As is known to all, hot pot is seen as a label of Chinese food. There’s finally no controversy about the affection for hot pot nationally. However, things of divergence still exist, and that is hot pot sauce used as disputing weapon. The soul of eating hot pot for northerner is peanut paste, usually added with other seasonings like oyster sauce, vinegar, fermented bean curd and so on. For southerner, sesame oil and mashed garlic are the best match with hot pot.
Besides, people in north prefer food with heavy flavor, while people in south tend to accept the food with light or sweet flavor. For example, southerners eat Tofu Jelly with sugar, but in north, people eat it with sauce, coriander and a little bit pickled vegetables. What is strange is that Chinese always talk about how people eat Zongzi, which appears to be that northern Zongzi has filling with red jujube and tastes sweet. On the contrary, southern Zongzi is added with salty meat. How interesting the diet culture is!
There is also a fundamental difference between soups in the south and north. Northerners simmer the soup until the meat and vegetables are cooked, then eat the meat, drink out the soup. While southern soup must be stewed with soft fire for a long time, or even a whole afternoon. When all the essence of the soup comes out, the soup will be drunk with meat left.
Things about eating habits are much more than the aforementioned. If you take a China tour including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and those cities in Northern and Southern China, you will definitely feel and experience the interesting eating differences.