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What’s actually cooking in China?
Cooking oil and fat statistics (production, imports, exports) are an important segment in
Chinese food industry statistics. These products have become even hotter items recently
due to the price hikes. As cooking oil is a very basic ingredient in the cooking of
households, such price increases are a potential source of social unrest. It would be
interesting to gain more insight in the actual oil consumption habits in China, to
supplement the impersonal facts & figures type of information.
One of the more informal sources we are screening for China News are discussion forums
that are frequented by foreigners expatriates in China with a keen interest in cooking.
Chinese with a sufficient grasp of English also participate. This sometimes leads to
highly interesting discussions. In this report, we are quoting a section of such a discussion
about cooking oil and fat. The quoted section starts with comments from a Chinese
participant. A foreigner living in Liuzhou (Guangxi), with an apparent long term interest
in the use of cooking oils and fats in restaurants all over China then adds a list of what he
has actually observed. We have added a few comments between square brackets,
otherwise the text has not been edited to preserve its original ‘flavor’.
‘Stack8 Jun 25, 2007 10:32AM
I am Chinese. Peanut oil has the richest flavor in vegetable oil, so Cantonese cuisine
choose it as main used oil. Rapeseed oil is the local produced oil in south China. In the
past it is the most used oil in Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and other south provinces. It has
a vapor that north Chinese do not like. Soy oil and peanut oil are the main cooking oil in
the north. As for prices, peanut oil is the highest, soy is less, rapeseed is the cheapest.
High end restaurants choose