It is said that "Lao Gan Ma" (a kind of chili oil from China) enjoys a great popularity around the world because of its distinctive flavour. Gilt, an American E-commerce website, describes it with poetic words, which can also outline the feature of traditional Chinese food:
"The taste of standard manufacturing food is far from this sort of traditional handmade flavor."
Lao Gan Ma
That is also what A Bite of China wants to tell us.
A Bite of China, a food documentary series produced by CCTV, shows us the food ecology around China with a high definition lens. The core is "food ecology", which means something about food itself and the whole related world behind food. The production team made efforts to capture the delicacy and origin of Chinese food culture, the custom, sense of family and life attitude that food brings to people.
Two seasons of A Bite of China have already greeted people in 2012 and 2014. After the first season dropped its curtain, people longed for the second season so much that when it finally aired in 2014, it got an extremely high rating.
How can the documentary hook such a huge audience?
It first catches people's eyes by the exquisite screens. With cameras zooming in on the food, the host is telling the audience how fresh, brilliant and tender the ingredients are in detail. When the host cut the spring onion at a pace that people even couldn't see the kitchen knife clearly, sprinkled some into the wok, made the fire flamed higher, and turned the wok into a landscape that had a rich tone — it really seemed to people as if they were just standing beside the cuisine, breathing in the aroma.
One of the posters: the ingredients are compared to inks
More than the delicate handmade food, A Bite of China wins people's hearts by the stories behind the food. When shooting the documentary, the production team ranged over the highways and byways of China, meeting hundreds of people and their stories with their food. There were some meals that specially prepared for gathering and parting, some were full of missing or romance and some contained one's life philosophy... Like one of the offscreen voices in the documentary said: "It is the taste of salt, of mountains, of wind, of sunshine as well as the taste of time and humanity."
It has been nearly four years since the second season of A Bite of China. With the coming of the Spring Festival, a fabulous gift is ready to be unwrapped by people — the third season will welcome the premiere on 19th February! What's more, different from the previous seasons, this time the production team set their eyes on Chinese food in the frame of the world, making comparisons between exotic and Chinese gastronomy. It seems that this series will be another success.
Poster of the third season