Food Cultures of China: Recipes, Customs, and Issues

Bloomsbury Academic. Jul. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781440877827. $68. REF
Guo (geography, San Francisco State Univ.; Beijing: Geography, History, and Culture) has created a detailed work on the food of China, including a history of Chinese cuisine and some of its most popular or famous dishes. His book skillfully demonstrates that cuisine is not static or monolithic, by covering regional variations, changing trends, and influences from abroad. There are chapters focused on every aspect of a meal: entrées, side dishes, beverages, snacks, and more. The final chapter discusses food issues, like famines, that have historically plagued China and modern problems that can come with abundant and mass-produced food, such as obesity and diabetes. Food scholars will enjoy the chronology, the glossary, the recommendations for further reading at the end of each chapter, and the recipes scattered throughout this volume. The tips on dining etiquette are helpful for those planning to visit China. Warning: don’t read this book while hungry.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in learning more about Chinese cuisine and its history. This riveting work will enthrall foodies.
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