The Chinese are particular about the color, smell, flavor and shape of food and the harmony of five flavors. In order to acquire richer gustatory experience, they have invented many flavor treating techniques by using seasonings during cooking.
The harmony of five flavors serves to realize direct gustatory enjoyment first, which at the same time provides important regulative and healthcare functions to human body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the pungent taste can diffuse evil influence, moisten dryness and promote qi and blood circulation, which can be used to cure cold, aching bones and muscles as well as kidney deficiency; the sweet taste can be tonifying, alleviatory and can improve mood, for example, honey and red jujube are nutrients for patients; the sour taste can astringe the intestines, stop diarrhea, promote salivation and quench thirst, and the effect of folk secret recipes such as using fumigated vinegar to prevent cold and boiled vinegar egg to cure cough have been proven by modern medicine; the bitter taste can clear away heat, improve eyesight and remove toxic substances.
The harmony of five flavors is a prerequisite for health and prolonged life.
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