Kunming College of Eastern Language
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Kunming College of Eastern Language
The Largest and Most Established Chinese School in Yunnan
Kunming College of Eastern Language
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Learning Cuisine Culture in Chinese

As the Chinese saying goes, "food is the most important thing for the people". The word "吃货"(foodie) is still a popular Chinese buzzword on the internet. It shows that "eating" weighs heavily in Chinese people's life.

In Chinese, there are also many words that express the taste of delicious food. These words not only express taste, but also have their metaphorical meanings respectively. The following are some metaphorical meanings of "five flavors"(酸、甜、苦、辣、咸) in Chinese.

酸(sour): vinegar, pickled cabbage, yogurt, sour and hot soup, etc.

Geographical distribution: Shanxi and Shaanxi

Metaphorical meaning

Satire the poor and lofty literati: 穷酸、寒酸;

Sorrow, grief: 心酸、酸楚;

Jealousy between men and women: 酸溜溜、吃醋;

Physical feeling: 酸痛.

甜(sweet): sugar, chocolate, ice cream, cake, sweet and sour pork ribs, etc.

Geographical distribution: southeast China

Metaphorical meaning

Pleasure and happiness: 甜蜜、甜美;

Nice voice: 声音很甜;

Boon or benefit: 甜头.

苦(bitter): traditional Chinese medicine, bitter gourd, black coffee, tea, etc.

Metaphorical meaning

Illness, pain: 痛苦;

Difficult environment: 辛苦;

High-intensity physical labor: 劳苦;

Poverty: 困苦.

辣(spicy): chili, spicy hot, mapo tofu, spicy hot pot, etc.

Geographical distribution: southwest China

Metaphorical meaning

Bitterness: 辛辣;

Impatient: 泼辣;

Fierce: 毒辣;

咸(salty): salt, salted eggs, salted vegetables, etc.

Geographical distribution: northern China

Metaphorical meaning: less.

Learning Cuisine Culture in Chinese