why we have never seen a Chinese dish that had milk or cheese or anything in it & couldn’t find any information？
Milk producing animals have been domesticated for thousands of years. Initially, they were part of the subsistence farming that nomads engaged in. As the community moved about the country, their animals accompanied them. Protecting and feeding the animals were a big part of the symbiotic relationship between the animals and the herders. In the more recent past, people in agricultural societies owned dairy animals that they milked for domestic and local (village) consumption, a typical example of a cottage industry. The animals might serve multiple purposes (for example, as a drought animal for pulling a p lough as a youngster, and at the end of its useful life as meat). In this case the animals were normally milked by hand and the herd size was quite small, so that all of the animals could be milked in less than an hour—about 10 per milker. These tasks were performed by a dairymaid (dairywoman) or dairyman. The word dairy harkens back to Middle English dayerie, deyerie, from deye (female servant or dairymaid) and further back to Old English dæge (kneader of bread).
With industrialization and urbanization, the supply of milk became a commercial industry, with specialized breeds of cattle being developed for dairy, as distinct from beef or drought animals. Initially, more people were employed as milkers, but it soon turned to mechanization with machines designed to do the milking. Farmer milking a cow by hand. Historically, the milking and the processing took place close together in space and time: on a dairy farm. People milked the animals by hand; on farms where only small numbers are kept, hand-milking may still be practiced. Hand-milking is accomplished by grasping the teats (often pronounced tit or tits) in the hand and expressing milk either by squeezing the fingers progressively, from the udder end to the tip, or by squeezing the teat between thumb and index finger, then moving the hand downward from udder towards the end of the teat. The action of the hand or fingers is designed to close off the milk duct at the udder (upper) end and, by the movement of the fingers, close the duct progressively to the tip to express the trapped milk. Each half or quarter of the udder is emptied one milk-duct capacity at a time. The stripping action is repeated, using both hands for speed. Both methods result in the milk that was trapped in the milk duct being squirted out the end into a bucket that is supported between the knees (or rests on the ground) of the milker, who usually sits on a low stool. Traditionally the cow, or cows, would stand in the field or paddock while being milked. Young stock, heifers, would have to be trained to remain still to be milked. In many countries, the cows were tethered to a post and milked. The problem with this method is that it relies on quiet, tractable beasts, because the hind end of the cow is not restrained. In 1937, it was found that bovine somatotropin (BST or bovine growth hormone) would increase the yield of milk. Monsanto Company developed a synthetic (recombinant) version of this hormone (rBST). In February 1994, rBST was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the U.S. It has become common in the U.S., but not elsewhere, to inject it into milch kine dairy cows to increase their production by up to 15%. However, there are claims that this practice can have negative consequences for the animals themselves. A European Union scientific commission was asked to report on the incidence of mastitis and other disorders in dairy cows, and on other aspects of the welfare of dairy cows. The commission’s statement, subsequently adopted by the European Union, stated that the use of rBST substantially increased health problems with cows, including foot problems, mastitis and injection site reactions, impinged on the welfare of the animals and caused reproductive disorders. The report concluded that on the basis of the health and welfare of the animals, rBST should not be used. Health Canada prohibited the sale of rBST in 1999; the recommendations of external committees were that, despite not finding a significant health risk to humans, the drug presented a threat to animal health and, for this reason, could not be sold in Canada.
1. There are no vast grasslands in China, therefore traditionally no great herds of cattle. Due to population vs. land available, pork has more popular than beef. Also duck can be raised in a small area, as can pork.
2. Dairy just isn’t that popular in traditional Chinese or Asian cooking in general. It just didn’t catch on. As a result, many Asians are lactose intolerant simply because they don’t continue drinking milk after childhood. Mongolian cooking does still use dairy a lot, mainly because the yak is their staple food, and they use every bit of the animal – including its milk.
3. It’s not a “scientific” reason, nor is it a matter of choice on the part of Chinese chefs. It’s just cultural/geographical selection. Traditionally, there isn’t much of a dairy industry in China (I’m talking all throughout history, not just the past couple hundred years). No dairy industry equals no milk and no cheese. There is quite a large seafood industry (again, historically speaking) in China, which is why much of their cuisine features seafood. The same thing applies throughout the world: in places like France and Italy, cheese-making has been part of their cultures for thousands of years. And cheese is featured in many Italian and French dishes.
4. Milk is not a common ingredient to be used in Chinese cuisine. There is only one milk dish that comes to mind – deep fried milk. But you won’t be able to get this in takeout places and I’ve only seen it a couple times at a few authentic Chinese restaurants. The poster who mentioned Mongolia is right, milk is more common in Mongolia as they are mainly herders. Chinese people were mainly in the farming and fishing business, so you’ll see fish/seafood and vegetables more dominant on menus.
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