The 10 Chinese Food and Drink Inventions

Chinese inventions span thousands of years and Chinese have introduced many important inventions and innovations in the world. Here is a list of the top 10 food and drink inventions by Chinese people.

No.1 Three Meals

three meals per day
Birth Time: Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 9 AD)
Birth Place: Chang’an (now Xi’an City)
The Han Dynasty scribe mentioned in Commentary on Analects of Confucius that Confucius advocated three meals practice of breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the he custom of three meals a day has been in use for more than 20 centuries in China until today.

No. 2 Salt Production

salt production china
Birth Time: 4200 years ago
Birth Place: Today`s Shouguang City, Shandong Province
Chinese didn’t “invent” salt. They first produced salt by boiling brine water and used it for commercial purposes, which laid the basis as salt as a currency in other parts of the world.

No.3 Vegetarian

Birth Time: Southern Liang Dynasty (502-557 AD)
Birth Place: Today`s Nanjing City
The Vegetarianism rule under which Chinese Buddhists eat vegetarian food dates back to the reign of Emperor Wudi in the Southern Liang Dynasty. Subsequently, Buddhists were prohibited from killing animals and began eating vegetarian food.

No.4 Hybrid Rice

Hybrid Rice
Birth Time: 1964
Birth Place: Hainan Province
Yuan Longping was the first person to develop indica hybrid rice. This invention earned him the title “Father of Hybrid Rice”. He started the research of indica hybrid in 1964 and made breakthrough in 1973. And China has became the first country that is capable of producing hybrid rice.

No.5 Tea Production

Tea-Production China

Birth Time: 2700 years ago
Birth Place: Jiang Bribe of Yangtze Basin
According to the Chinese legend, tea was invented accidentally by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong at Yangtze Basin in 2737 B.C.. But it was first considered as a medicinal beverage. It was around 300 A.D. when, tea became a daily drink.

No.6 Chopsticks

Birth Time: Before Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1050 BC)
Birth Place: Today`s Shanxi-Hebei-Shandong-Henan area
Chopsticks are eating utensils consisting of  a set of two tapered sticks. The first mention of them in Chinese history was 3000 years ago in the Shang Dynasty’s – The Book of Rites. At that time, they were in the form of twigs which later evolved into the tapered wooden sticks as we know them today.

No.7 Hotel

ancient china hotel
Birth Time: Zhou Dynasty (1100-221BC)
Birth Place: The central Shaanxi plain
In order to facilitate the 71 kingdoms to appear before the Zhou emperor and render tribute to him, the emperor built “guesthouses” at the major lines of communication. These guesthouses were the oldest lodging facilities, and also the prototype of the hotel in the modern sense.

No.8 Ice Cream

ice_cream-china 1

Birth Time: Tang Dynasty (618–906 AD)
Birth Place: The central Shaanxi plain
The origin of ice cream dated back to China’s Tang period, probably as a dish for the country’s rulers. The founder of the dynasty, King Tang of Shang, kept 94 “ice men” on hand to lug ice to the palace to make a dish made of koumiss (heated, fermented milk), flour, and camphor.

No.9 Bean curd

tofu-china 1
Birth Time: Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 9 AD)
Birth Place: Huainan area
Bean curd also called Tofu, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu originated in ancient China some 2,000 years ago by prince Liu An (179–122 BC). It spread into other parts of East Asia as well.

No.10 Wine Production

Wine Production
Birth Time: Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC)
Birth Place: Today`s Ruyang County, Henan Province
Ancient Chinese were the first to discover wine and invent the technique of making wine and liquor. Lushi Chunqiu, which was compiled in the 2nd century BC, writes that “Yi Di was the first to make wine.” Judging from the wine vessels unearthed ih archaeological sites, wine making probably started in the period of the Yangshao culture, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.

15 Responses

  1. Sandhya Deshmukh says:

    I love China ,but I am Indian.

  2. alexis says:

    i’m glad there alive cause i don’t think i could live without ice cream

  3. Bob Alicious says:

    Maybe they didn’t actually take credit for it, if it’s ancient china archeaologists would misake things, thinking what they use, such as the wind mill and all this other stuff is what they invented… hey you never know

  4. paula says:

    Some of these are just plain wrong!! I have noticed the chinese love to take credit for many things they did not invent.
    one, for instance, is the production of wine. Oldest known evidence for wine production is from 8000 bc, in what is now Georgia and Armenia!!
    This list is pathetic and misleading.

  5. Peter says:

    Yuan Longping (Chinese: 袁隆平; Pinyin: Yuán Lóngpíng; born September 7, 1930) is a Chinese agricultural scientist and educator, known for developing the first hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s. you can find more info at

    • KalanStar says:

      Well, there appears to be a major discrepancy then as…

      “The earliest high-yield rice was cultivated by Henry ‘Hank’ Beachell[2] in 1966, but it was not until the 1974 that the first hybrid rice varieties were released in China.”

      Notice the article we are responding to also lists the year as “1964”.
      “In 1964, Yuan created his theory of using the probably-existing naturally-mutated male-sterile rice individuals for the creation of reproductive hybrid rice species,”

      So, at best, it’s a shared discovery, not solely “Chinese”. But..
      “Three decades later, that and future advances in rice breeding made by Dr. Beachell and fellow research colleague, Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush, won both men the 1996 World Food Prize for their contributions to ensuring that growing populations in Asia and around the world would be supported by sufficient food supplies.”


      “Professor Yuan Longping received the 2004 World Food Prize for his breakthrough achievement in developing the genetic materials and technologies essential for breeding high-yielding hybrid rice varieties.”

      So… Who “birthed” it?

  6. David says:

    Henry ‘Hank’ Beachell developed hybrid rice, but Yuan Longping was the first to release it to the public

    • KalanStar says:

      “Birth Place: Hainan Province” = Lie. Giving “birth” to Hybrid rice is exactly what Henry ‘Hank’ Beachell did.

  7. KalanStar says:

    China did not invent 3 meals a day. For f*ck sakes. That’s retarded.

    Salt production was “invented” in prehistoric times (ie, before Zhong Guo)

    Vegetarianism comes from ancient Greece and India.

    Hybrid rice was invented in 1966 by Henry ‘Hank’ Beachell in America.

    Tea production is Chinese. Woohoo, you got that one right

    Chopsticks are not FOOD! So they don’t count.

    Hotels, also NOT FOOD, were invented by the first settlers in North America.

    Ice cream was invented by the Arabs.

    Bean curd, woohoo, another actual Chinese thing.

    Wine fermentation comes from the Neolithic period in Europe around 7000 years ago.

    So, your article should be called, “The only 2 Chinese Food and drink inventions.” So many years of history, so very little contribution.

  8. China Newz says:

    China has so many inventions. Chinese people are smart, clever and creative.

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