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China to Chinatown: Chinese Food in the West (Globalities) [Hardcover]

Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 304025  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2002
Publisher   Reaktion Books
ISBN  1861891334  
EAN  9781861891334  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
China to Chinatown tells the story of one of the most notable examples of the globalization of food: the spread of Chinese recipes, ingredients and cooking styles to the Western world. Beginning with the accounts of Marco Polo and Franciscan missionaries, J.A.G. Roberts describes how Westerners' first impressions of Chinese food were decidedly mixed, with many regarding Chinese eating habits as repugnant. Chinese food was brought back to the West merely as a curiosity.

The Western encounter with a wider variety of Chinese cuisine dates from the first half of the 20th century, when Chinese food spread to the West with emigrant communities. The author shows how Chinese cooking has come to be regarded by some as among the world's most sophisticated cuisines, and yet is harshly criticized by others, for example on the grounds that its preparation involves cruelty to animals.

Roberts discusses the extent to which Chinese food, as a facet of Chinese culture overseas, has remained differentiated, and questions whether its ethnic identity is dissolving.

Written in a lively style, the book will appeal to food historians and specialists in Chinese culture, as well as to readers interested in Chinese cuisine.

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More About J. A. G. Roberts

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! J. A. G. Roberts specializes in the history of China and Japan and is Principal Lecturer in Humanities at the University of Huddersfield, England. He is the author of four other books on China.

J. A. G. Roberts was born in 1935 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Principal Lecturer,Dept. of Humanities University of Huddersfield, U.K.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Cats Eyes and Chow Mein  Feb 11, 2006
The book 'From China to Chinatown' gives a great overview of the history of Chinese food, but only concerning attidutes westerners have towards it.

Part I is about the views from mostly travellogs from Europeans in China. From Marco Polo to know we see what has horrified them like the eating of cats and dogs, rats and such. It shows also that the eating culture in China is somewhat linked to the political culture as well.

Part II is about the Chinese food in the West, notably the US (stressing California the most) and England. We see how tastes have been changing over two years and how the food is geared towards the western taste. Chow Mein for example was developed in America.

If you like Chinese food and all it's facets this book is money well spent.
How the most exotic of cuisines becomes the most familiar  Apr 20, 2005
It'll take more than one book to help us grasp how the most alien of cuisines became the most commodified, but J. A. G. Roberts' book is an important beginning. Well researched and well thought-out, it is also a great read, highly suggestive without bogging us down with ponderous sociology. Half a day later you'll want to read it again.
How Fried Rice & Spring Rolls Became Part of Our Diet  Oct 27, 2004
I had been waiting for a book like this - a major addition to the canon on Chinese food. Lots of great stories from both the east and west. It focuses on the United States and the United Kingdom. Though it is not a problem, the author is oddly detached, from the stories he retells so well from historical records. It is a little repetitive in the use of examples.

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