Coming Soon!
Food Cultures of China
Recipes, Customs, and Issues
by Qian Guo
July 2023, 216pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7782-7
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7783-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of modern China, asserted that China’s food culture was the most advanced and sophisticated in the world, despite the country lagging the West in science, industry, and civic engagement.

This volume explores the rich and varied culinary traditions of China, enabling readers to better understand Chinese history and culture through food.

While many Americans may immediately envision fried rice, egg rolls, or sweet and sour pork when they think of Chinese food, China has a much richer and more diverse set of culinary traditions. China’s food culture is one of the oldest in the world, evolving over thousands of years. It has been shaped by a myriad of forces, from historical struggles with food insecurity to the modern push toward speed and convenience. Across the large nation, unique cuisines emerged that reflect the varied geography, climate, and customs of different regions.

Part of Greenwood’s Global Kitchen series, Food Cultures of China: Recipes, Customs, and Issues takes readers on a culinary tour, exploring everything from daily staples to holiday specialties. In addition to examining China’s food history, the book also addresses recent trends, foreign influences, and contemporary food and dietary concerns, such as obesity and environmental sustainability. Each thematic chapter includes a collection of accessible recipes that allow readers to bring the text to life in their own kitchens.


  • Simple chapter layout makes it easy for readers to discover the diversity and richness of China's many regional cuisines
  • Illuminating sidebars highlight fascinating facts about the diverse food cultures of China
  • Easy-to-follow recipes allow readers to create authentic Chinese dishes at home
  • Comprehensive chronology allows readers to trace the evolution of China's food culture over millennia
  • Thematically organized glossary helps readers learn the Chinese words for key ingredients, cooking techniques and utensils, and dining-related phrases
Qian Guo is associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at San Francisco State University. He teaches courses in urban and regional geography and geopolitics. His research interests include sustainable development and China's western frontiers. Guo is the author of ABC-CLIO's Beijing: Geography, History, and Culture.

The Global Kitchen

One of the most important cultural traditions in a country is its cuisine. Every country and culture has a national dish, an iconic "flavor" that is recognized as symbolic of that location, from Brazil's feijoada to Russia’s pelmeni. The Global Kitchen series explores food culture around the world, with an emphasis on typical meals and recipes.

Each volume in the series focuses on the food culture of a specific country or, in some cases, a small group of countries. Volumes follow the same chapter outline, written in a narrative style interwoven with recipes for hands-on engagement. Coverage begins with a general review of food history in the country as well as a detailed discussion of staple ingredients that play a major role in the cuisine. Several chapters break down specific meals into appetizers and side dishes, main dishes, desserts, and beverages, looking at common meals and recipes that contribute to the country’s culinary flavor. Additional chapters examine food shared on holidays and special occasions, street food and snacks, and restaurants. A final chapter investigates food issues in the country, including dietary and health concerns. Numerous recipes appear throughout the text, and a glossary, a timeline, a bibliography, and sidebars round out each volume.
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