Rewarding and illuminating.
The Land of the Five Flavors: A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisineby Thomas O. Hollmann
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… See more details below
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.
Columbia University Press
Brief, readable, and entertaining...
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Columbia University Press
- Publication date:
- Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History Series
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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