The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine by Thomas O. Höllmann | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine

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

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by Thomas O. Hollmann
     
 

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Renowned sinologist Thomas O. Höllmann tracks the growth of food culture in China from its earliest burial rituals to today's Western fast food restaurants, mapping Chinese cuisine's geographical variations and local customs, indigenous factors and foreign influences, trade routes, and ethnic associations. Höllmann details the food practices of major

Overview

Renowned sinologist Thomas O. Höllmann tracks the growth of food culture in China from its earliest burial rituals to today's Western fast food restaurants, mapping Chinese cuisine's geographical variations and local customs, indigenous factors and foreign influences, trade routes, and ethnic associations. Höllmann details the food practices of major Chinese religions and the significance of eating and drinking in rites of passage and popular culture. He 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.

Höllmann's award-winning history revisits the invention of noodles, the role of butchers and cooks in Chinese politics, debates over the origin of grape wines, and the causes of modern-day food contamination. He discusses local crop production, the use of herbs and spices, the relationship between Chinese food and economics, the influence of Chinese philosophy, and traditional dietary concepts and superstitions. Citing original Chinese sources, Höllmann uncovers fascinating aspects of daily Chinese life, constructing a multifaceted compendium that inspires a rich appreciation of Chinese arts and culture.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Book Review - Rachel Anne Calabia
Rewarding and illuminating.

CHOICE
Brief, readable, and entertaining...

Naomi Duguid
Anyone interested in China or in food history needs this book, an insightful introduction to China's food traditions that is anchored in an understanding and appreciation of centuries of Chinese history and culinary culture, from the earliest empires to the present day.

William H. Nienhauser
Photos, posters, paintings and sketches alternate with recipes in this fascinating book, which takes ingredients from several types of available sources: part cookbook, part cultural history of China through its kitchen.

Anne Mendelson
Höllmann deftly blends descriptive text and illustrations together with dozens of brief, amusing tidbits from an amazing spectrum of Chinese historical sources. The book's great attraction is the presentation of many complex, extremely disparate materials in nimbly condensed, accessible form. Höllmann makes it look easy.

Library Journal
10/01/2013
Höllmann (Chinese studies & ethnology, Ludwig Maximilian Univ., Munich; Time and Ritual in Early China) has pulled together a study on the cultural history of China through its cooking, working from written, illustrated, and archaeological materials. Like Junru Liu's Chinese Food, this volume focuses on China's long history with food. Höllmann paints a picture of China that is encompassing and easily dispels Western myths about the country. Though this title isn't a cookbook, Höllmann also includes traditional recipes that can easily be adapted for the modern cook—a pleasant surprise for readers. Tables and illustrations enhance the text. The author even examines Western influences on Chinese cooking (such as the invasion of fast food), as well as how Chinese cuisine has been adapted in Western cultures. VERDICT This engaging look at China's culinary history will appeal to readers interested in China and those who enjoy books on cooking.—Ginny Wolter, Toledo-Lucas Cty. P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231161862
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
11/26/2013
Series:
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History Series
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Anne Mendelson
Höllmann deftly blends descriptive text and illustrations together with dozens of brief, amusing tidbits from an amazing spectrum of Chinese historical sources. The book's great attraction is the presentation of many complex, extremely disparate materials in nimbly condensed, accessible form. Höllmann makes it look easy.

William H. Nienhauser
Photos, posters, paintings and sketches alternate with recipes in this fascinating book, which takes ingredients from several types of available sources in English: part cookbook, part cultural history of China through its kitchen.

Meet the Author

Thomas O. Höllmann is a professor of Chinese studies and ethnology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and a former vice president of the Bavarian Academy of Science. His publications include The Silk Road and The Old China: A Cultural History.

Karen Margolis is a writer and translator living in Berlin. She is also the translator of The Art of Philosophy by Peter Sloterdijk.

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The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 29 days ago
Title: The Land of the Five Flavors - A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine Author: Thomas O. Hollmann Published: 12-10-13 Publisher: Columbia University Press Pages: 216 Genre: Food. Cooking & Wine Sub Genre: Cultures; History; Asian; Cookbooks: Chinese ISBN: 9780231161862 ASIN: B00GF2SORI Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 3 1/2 Stars . The rating makes it look like this book was not interesting but it was. It was just not what I was expecting. I was thing more of the various food styles, such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Sichuan, Hunan and Beijing etc. How the different provinces developed the flavors in that region. That being said I did enjoy reading the cultural and economic history of the people, nation and agricultural development. I should love to learn more of the background on Chinese food production, but would like to be better informed on the subject matter. If the ever do get a historical book on the development of the various provinces' food tastes, then count me in to read is as soon as it is off the presses. My rating for the misnomer of The Land of Five Flavors Title is 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.