The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine

The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine

Thomas O. Höllmann

Language: English

Pages: 216


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

World-renowned sinologist Thomas O. Höllmann tracks the growth of Chinese food culture from the earliest burial rituals to today's Western fast food restaurants, detailing the cuisine's geographical variations and local customs, indigenous factors and foreign influences, trade routes, and ethnic associations. Höllmann describes the food rituals of major Chinese religions and the significance of eating and drinking in rites of passage and popular culture. He also enriches his narrative with thirty of his favorite recipes and a selection of photographs, posters, paintings, sketches, and images of clay figurines and other objects excavated from tombs.

This history recounts the cultivation of what are probably the earliest grape wines, the invention of noodles, the role of butchers and cooks in Chinese politics, and the recent issue of food contamination. It discusses local crop production, the use of herbs and spices, the relationship between Chinese food and economics, the import of Chinese philosophy, and traditional dietary concepts and superstitions. Höllmann cites original Chinese sources, revealing fascinating aspects of daily Chinese life. His multifaceted compendium inspires a rich appreciation of Chinese arts and culture.

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fillet, bamboo shoots, and shiitake to the boil in the stock, then turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes. 2. Add the bean curd, pig’s blood, and all the seasonings, and bring to the boil again. 3. Thicken with the cornstarch solution. 4. Beat the egg in until it starts to curdle, then quickly remove the soup from the heat. 5. Sprinkle with the scallions. Note: The pig’s blood is optional and can be omitted. THE WEST The center of this region is the fertile Red Basin. The

also ignores these differences, as in the case of “rice wine,” only adds to the confusion. The word used for beer today, pijiu, only dates back to the end of the nineteenth century, following a decision to prefix the general term jiu with the character pi, which was supposed to sound like Western words such as beer. However, the first two elements of the term putaojiu (wine) date back to ancient Persian. Although the name has very deep etymological roots, the wine tradition in China has a much

star cooks have discovered the merits of Asian foods and preparation methods, and are not shy of presenting imaginative treats such as “Spring rolls with exotic vinaigrette,” “Chinese-style spare ribs,” or “Warm chocolate praline with Sichuan pepper, mango, and dill.” Appendix Tables from Chapters 2–4 Bibliography Western Sources and Further Reading Anderson, Eugene N. “‘Heating’ and ‘Cooling’ Foods in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” Social Science Information 19 (1980): 237–268. . The Food

46, 47; writings from, 13, 127 imports, 94; dairy, 149; glassware, 61; rice, 17; soybeans, 22; spices, 34, 35t; wheat, 19; wine, 150 India: Buddhism and, 121; sugarcane and, 36; tea and, 87 Indian lotus, 22, 72t inns, 134, 139; in Beijing, 141 inspection, inspections, 42, 108. See also regulation Internet, food safety and, 108 iron: foods rich in, 18, 23; utensils made from, 56 irrigation, 30, 64, 64; of grapes, 93 Italy, cuisine of, 51, 149, 153 ivory chopsticks, 61 jade chopsticks

flavor. Alternatively, the starch it contains can be used to make a kind of flour. The other main root vegetables are radishes and carrots. They can both be prepared in a variety of ways: fried, boiled, braised, or pickled, for instance. They are also ideal for decoration, and it is a nice surprise to find your plate garnished with cranes carved from vegetables. The carrot reached China relatively late, which is why it is still known there as “barbarian radish.” This term actually represents a

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