'A Bite of China 3' receives mixed reviews
By Ding Siyue, Yang Ran
The third season of "A Bite of China", a documentary series about Chinese cuisine has been receiving mixed reviews since its release. Despite the differing tastes of the Chinese audience, the series has made a particular type of cookware very popular – the iron wok.
After getting six minutes of screen time on the third season of "A Bite of China", the Zhangqiu iron wok became an online sensation.
The woks from east China's Shandong Province are all handmade.
All 2,000 woks in stock on an online store were sold out within an hour of the show's airing, with orders also being placed from overseas.
Customers inspect Zhangqiu iron woks at a store. /VCG Photo

Customers inspect Zhangqiu iron woks at a store. /VCG Photo

The sales volume increased 6,000 times from last year, but the supply has fallen short of demand. 
The online store has asked its customers to turn down the heat on their drive to woks.
Brick-and-mortar stores were also flooded with people.
"I learned about this wok after watching the third season of 'A Bite of China'. I haven't heard of it before," one woman told CGTN. 
The craze for the Zhangqiu iron wok illustrates the show's popularity.
The first two seasons of the show became famous with Chinese food lovers.
A mutton dish. /VCG Photo

A mutton dish. /VCG Photo

The production team of the third season traveled to over 20 provinces in China and filmed some 400 kinds of food. 
There are eight episodes focusing on different angles.
"One quote from a person we interviewed in the show touched us a lot. He said 'love is the best condiment.' Our team produced this new season out of the love of the 'A Bite of China' brand, and the love of our audience," General Director of the show Liu Yanhong said.
A poster of "A Bite of China 3". /CCTV Photo

A poster of "A Bite of China 3". /CCTV Photo

Reviews so far have been short of spectacular. Some complained that the third season focuses too much on the stories rather than the food itself. Others, however, are still gobbling it all up.
"I prefer the first season. I like watching the process of making a dish. But I think there are more 'designed' plots in the third season, like finding the origin of the food. It's not realistic enough," a fan commented.
But there are also those who gave it a thumb up.
"I like it. I think the third season is a worthy follow-up to the first two, and highlights traditional Chinese culture more," said one viewer.
Director Liu says they want to introduce more about the culture and history of food based on the delicious dishes. She says some audience members may not like these changes, but innovation is important.
Cuisine has always been an important part of the Chinese culture. "A Bite of China" series focuses not only on the delicious food, but also the culture behind it. 
Despite mixed reviews, the popularity of the documentary's third season reflects Chinese people's love of food.