The Hakka people used to be a unique branch of the Han majority. The reason why Hakka is named Hakka (alien land) is because they were forced to leave their native land and migrate to other places due to the miserable environment of war, famine and crime etc, taking alien land as their new home. According to Prof. Luo Xiang-Lin’s textual research, the Hakka’s ancestors migrated on a large-scale throughout history as many as five times.
Mankind’s food culture is inseparably related to the land, the climate and products. During the many migrations, Hakka food culture has gradually taken shape due to the influence of the following factors:
i) Inheriting the food culture of the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River (many similarities with the Han majority)
ii)Producing and developing new ingredients and customs after migrating to the south at the end of the Tang dynasty
iii)Influenced by the food culture of the original inhabitants (mainly the She minority)
iv)Absorbing the influences of neighboring minorities (mainly Guangdong and Southern Fujian)
Hakka ancestors used to live in miserable environments and mainly inhabited mountainous areas of barren land. In order to adapt to the living environment, they had to build special ethnic features which completely reflected their food culture and also shaped the style of Hakka food such as “eating food grown in the wild, eating coarse food, and eating various foods” and foods that were “salty, aromatic, oily and thick”