Analysis of Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Taiwan foods is as follows:
1. Features of Hakka food
(1) Using Zailai rice and sweet potatoes as staple foods. During Japanese occupation, one Japanese man introduced Penglai rice. People began eating Penglai rice instead. They also ate pork, mutton, chicken, duck, and fish, with little seafood. The foods were basically salty, fatty, oily, and fragrant.
(2) Many Hakka foods are made through drying food in the sun, or pickling, curing, and fermenting foods, such as eight dried foods of western Fujian – Wuping pig’s gall, Liancheng sweet potatoes, Yongding vegetables, Shanghang radish, Changding bean curd, Qingliu bamboo shoot, Ninghua rats, and Mingxi pork. Popular Taiwan Hakka dishes include Meigancai, Xiancai, Gaolicaigan, pickled squash, pickled Cordia, pickled Caitou, pickled Jietoucai, pineapple bean paste, and fermented bean curd.
(3) Most foods are made by steaming, boiling, deep-frying, and roasting. They think eating oily foods is necessary to replenish the heat needed for much physical labor. At a time when foods were scarce, it served as a lubricant for rough foods. Its feature was simple without much decoration.
(4) In terms of taste, Fujian Hakka dishes are particular about fragrance and authenticity, with dishes made in different places tasting slightly different. Taiwan Hakka food is more salty. This is because their work requires much physical labor and they perspire a lot. Therefore, they need to replenish the salt they lost through perspiring.
(5) Most good at making pickled, sun-dried, fermented foods such as Meigancaikourou, Suancaidupiantang, Dongguafeng, Kuguafeng, Gaolicaifeng, Hakka stir-fried dishes, ginger stir-fried with intestines, dried cabbage stewed with ribs, and soups made of beans and dried shredded meat.
(6) Use of much oil and fatty meat is another characteristic of Hakka food.
2. Formation of Hakka food
(1) Geographical conditions determine local products. As rice production is limited in mountainous areas, therefore production is primarily of food grains such as sweet potatoes, taros, fern roots, and yams. Red potatoes, pumpkins, taros, and soybeans are made into snacks and Ban or Gao, while soybeans made into bean curd.
(2) Poor living conditions also impact Hakka food. Since daily work involves climbing up the mountain, carrying a load with a pole, life is rather strenuous. In addition, inconvenient transportation made it inevitable to become self-sufficient. They are good at making sun-dried, pickled, cured, and fermented foods, with Laxiansuancai and Gaolicaigan being major foods.
(3) Being influenced by aborigines of Yu and Yao tribes, people in Fujian, Guangdong, and Jiangxi eat dogs, rats, and snakes. Cantonese also eat roasters.
3. Characteristics of Hakka food culture
(1) Dining etiquette particular about ceremonies
1. The custom of Jiu Xi San Qing, seating is carefully arranged
2. Food is served and wine poured by designated persons
(2) The food culture of getting close to good things and avoiding bad ones
1. Receiving stove and worshiping stove deity
Burning incense, lighting candles, chicken, pork, and fish, candies, hosted by elderly women
2. Steaming glutinous cake over Chinese New Year
Getting promoted continuously. Paying people a courtesy call on New Year's Day or shortly after with a present and eating oranges means
good luck. Eating celery and garlic on New Year’s Day means hard-working and good at calculating, while eating meat balls means laying
the basis for future relationship. Eating pomelo means having babies. And eating Shi Yang Jin means something else.
3. Hakka people have many taboos
They include not sticking chopsticks in the middle of the rice bowl, not hitting the bowl with chopsticks, not breaking cooking oil bottles,
keeping feet away from the stove when eating, and pregnant women not eating turtles for fear of difficult delivery. When a pregnant
daughter is about to give birth, the mother has to give the daughter eggs on certain days to wish the daughter smooth delivery.
(3) The spirit of solidarity of the group eating together
In many places, people enjoy getting together to share foods, drinking Xinding wine,Youdazong, and eating Daxiaogongmuzong. Changding people are hospitable. They enjoy drinking wine and often drink tea instead. They also enjoy Dapinghuo, everyone chipping in to buy food and wine.
(4) The cooking principle particular about harmony
When one cooks, attention needs to be paid to original flavor and collocation of foods. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the nature of foods. Shanghang people use ducks to stew with lotus seeds. Over summer solstice, they eat dog meat. Over winter solstice, they eat mutton. In the summer, they make Xiancao jelly, eating pestled tea. Pregnant women eating Tangjiang chicken, drinking Tangjiang wine.
(5) A eating habit of affluence and frugality
Though frugal, they prepare a lot of food on Chinese New Year and festivals. The foods the average people and rich people eat are different. The average people have rice porridge for breakfast and dinner, and rice for lunch, with sweet potatoes and yam being the major food grains. Foods often eaten to go with rice are Yicaigan, Xiancaigan, Luobogan, leafy greens, bean curd, and fermented beans. They think highly of Chinese New Year and begin buying goods for the festival in December of lunar calendar. In the second half of December, they steam glutinous cake, make Ban and bean curd, butcher chicken and ducks to make cured foods. Almost every place is bustling.