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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Morsels of culture (2)

By Eric Jou  (China Daily)

08:24, April 25, 2012

The 46-year-old says he "felt compelled to spread the history and wealth of all of China's eats to the world."

He puts it like this: "Snacks aren't just snacks. They are a part of culture and history. Every dish is riddled with history from the reasons its ingredients were chosen to how it has been consumed over time."

And such snack history can be devoured by development if not preserved, Hou Jia believes.

"Because life is changing so fast, many snacks are only found in certain places and could be forgotten," he says.

"So, we started WFS to promote China's snacks to the world."

Hou Jia believes Chinese snack food makers should study US fast food outlets, despite the distinctions in healthiness.

US fast food's strength, Hou Jia believes, is that it can be exported around the world while retaining its original - ultimately standardized - taste.

So, WFS strives to standardize regional eats, he says.

Hou Jia points out that many foreigners - and especially Westerners - can't accept that many Chinese snacks are made of innards.

He recalls that when German visitors weren't told they were eating intestines but, rather, something "traditionally good for them", while they heard the histories of the snacks, they were able to accept eating innards.

"If you travel from China to the US, it would be a waste to eat Chinese food," Hou says.

"Eating helps you understand a culture. You can see why the people have their eating habits and how the environment shapes their lives."

【1】 【2】

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