Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who Cut the Cheese?

I consider there to be two types of Chinese Food, American Chinese Food and Real Chinese Food. By no means do I consider myself to be an expert on Real Chinese Food, but I order from Peking Kitchen just about every weekend when I stumble home from the bar. In fact, when the Commodore moved into his new apartment two years ago, they stopped delivering to us because I would pass out and not answer the door. But that is neither here nor there...

One thing I've noticed while swimming in duck sauce is that there are really no Asian dishes that involve cheese. The only thing I can think of is a crab rangoon which really involves a cream cheese spread. I'm talking about real cheeese...mozzarella, provolone, american, chedder, swiss. Every other nationality has dishes with cheese in it. What went wrong in China? If anyone can name a chinese dish with cheese in it please let me know because I love cheese and I love chinese food.


Anonymous said...

Excellent point - great post! how do the chinese get any dairy in their diets if they don't have cheese?

Anonymous said...

here it is....


Cheese for the Chinese?
Topic: D - Goods - Agriculture
Author: Freeman; Duncan,
Published: 18/07/2005
Region: China

Cheese has traditionally been absent from the Chinese diet. Although this is changing, the European Union (EU), the largest producer of cheese, has a very small slice of the Chinese cheese importing cake.

Although the taste for cheese is increasing, the per capita consumption in China remains very low at 0.2 kg in 2003, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The same source quotes China as increasing production from 186,000 tons in 1999 to 225,000 tons in 2003, and increasing imports from 16,000 tons to 23,000 in 2003.

The top producers worldwide are the EU, the US, New Zealand and Australia. EU statistics show that its cheese exports to China are growing, from 144 tons in 2000 to 937 tons in 2004. This looks impressive, but compared to total imports the absolute amount is small. The Chinese market is dominated by New Zealand and Australia. In 2003 New Zealand accounted for 58 percent of China's cheese imports, and Australia 30 percent.

This is not surprising as EU exports to China are a reflection of the structure of the world cheese trade:

the EU produced 5.6 million tons of cheese in 2004, but consumes most of it, exporting only 490,000 tons;
the US is the second largest producer at 4 million tons in 2004, exporting 52,000 tons, but is overall a net importer of cheese;
New Zealand produced 285,000 tons in 2004, exporting 280,000 tons (over 98 percent of the total);
Australia produced 360,000 tons, exporting 184,000 tons.
New Zealand and Australia have fundamental cost advantages due to low pastureland prices, and consequently play a large role in the world cheese trade.

The relative boom in the dairy industry in China is manifesting itself especially in milk production and China is now one of the largest producers of milk in the world. Milk production rocketed from 7.8 million tons in 2000 to 17.5 million tons in 2003. Nevertheless, per capita consumption of milk in the country remains low and there are enormous differences between urban and rural consumption, and further disparities exist between one city and another.

Among dairy products consumed in China, milk consumption heads the list, followed by yoghurt, then ice cream and finally cheese. Consumption of the latter is concentrated in fast food outlets in the form of pizzas, burgers and sandwiches.

The dairy industry has had to be built up from scratch in terms of production, processing, storage and distribution facilities. Refrigerators are gradually becoming more common as household purchases, and the storage and consumption of dairy products remains impossible without them.

The dairy industry has not been a great success in China for European or other foreign investors. Several, including Friesland, Parmalat and Kraft, have withdrawn from investments there recently. Problems include fierce competition and price cutting, both of which make business conditions very difficult for all producers, not just foreign investors.

Western food products such as coffee, wine and even milk have been relatively widely adopted in China, especially in cities. However, it is difficult to see how cheese fits into the scheme of Chinese culinary art. According to Tony Emms, of the Singapore-based food industry consulting firm Stanton, Emms and Sia, markets in China are likely to develop slowly and, as the market develops, foreign companies will face the threat of competition from domestic producers.

Source: Freeman; Duncan,

Simply Suds said...

I'd pay money to see you say the words.."cheese" "beers" or "wings" right now.

Crab Rangoon Bafoon said...

I'll take it to the grave that Peking Kitchen in Quincy has the best Chinese food in America.

15 minute.