Food Culture in China
by Jacqueline M. Newman
August 2004, 256pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32581-6
$61, £46, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08572-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This one-stop resource helps students and general readers understand the deep importance that food has always had in Chinese society and culture.

The cuisine of China is widely considered to be one of the best because it meets the requirements of geographic variety, inclusion of all types of foods, and a long-established and well-developed culinary tradition. The Chinese culture can be labeled a food culture for the interest and honor given to food and its rituals. Food Culture in China is loaded with information on the cuisine’s prominent role in Chinese culture. Students and other readers will learn about Chinese food history through the dynasties and Silk Road migrations up until today, ingredients, cooking implements and techniques, regional differences, table etiquette, cultural emphasis on food, specialty dishes for celebrations, and the role of diet and traditional Chinese medicine, among other topics. Each chapter contains a number of recipes for a meal based on the specific topic.

Americans typically are familiar with a narrow range of Americanized Chinese restaurants. This one-stop resource helps readers to see this ever-popular ethnic cuisine in a broader context. It is the most in-depth reference of its kind on the market. A timeline, glossary, tables, and illustrations complement the narrative.


The inclusion of recipies for a meal based on the specific topic enhances a resource which includes plenty of cultural and social information.—Donovan's Bookshelf, 00/00/00

This book is a boon for serious students....The depth and breadth of the authors knowledge is indisputable....[p]rovides the first formal discussion about the role of food in Chinese divinity, and the book continues to provide fascinating and little-known tidbits....Dr. Newman puts the kibosh on what Westerner's often describe as the inscrutability of Chinese food ways, answering questions like why its OK to slurp soup, arrive late to the dim sum table, but never to a banquet. She knows more about Chinese food than anyone I've ever encountered, and her book lays it on the line in a precise and intriguing manner. I don't know if Chinese people eat them, but I do know that this precious new resource is the bee's knees.—Flavor & Fortune, 00/00/00

There are many facts rarely recorded in other works and the chapter on Special Occasions is particularly interesting.... Books such as this add another dimension to the enjoyment of the foods of other cultures.—Menu Magazine, 00/00/00

"...these books provide a wealth of information that would be ideal for travelers interested in the food cultures of their Asian destinations; 'foodies' in any country who desire greater background knowledge of these three ethnic cuisines; high schoolers working on food-related projects; or students in introductory college-level area studies, anthropology, or geography courses who are curious as to how history, the physical environment, agriculture, technology, religion, conceptions of health and nutrition, and other circumstances have affected and continue to affect the food cultures in three key Asian countries: China, India, and Japan."—Southeast Review of Asian Studies, January 1, 2006
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