Food and Foodways in Asia : Resource, Tradition and Cooking book cover
1st Edition

Food and Foodways in Asia
Resource, Tradition and Cooking

ISBN 9780415547048
Published April 29, 2009 by Routledge
228 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Food is an important cultural marker of identity in contemporary Asian societies, and can provide a medium for the understanding of social relations, family and kinship, class and consumption, gender ideology, and cultural symbolism. However, a truly comprehensive view of food cannot neglect the politics of food production, in particular, how, when, from where and even why different kinds of food are produced, prepared and supplied.

Food and Foodways in Asia is an anthropological inquiry providing rich ethnographic description and analysis of food production as it interacts with social and political complexities in Asia’s diverse cultures. Prominent anthropologists examine how food is related to ethnic identity and boundary formation, consumerism and global food distribution, and the invention of local cuisine in the context of increasing cultural contact.

With chapters ranging from the invention of 'local food' for tourism development, to Asia's contribution to ‘world cuisine,’ Food and Foodways in Asia will be a fascinating read for anyone interested in the anthropology of food and/or Asian studies.

Table of Contents

I Ecology, Resources and Food Production; 1. Fermented Marine Food Products in Vietnam: Ecological basis and production; 2. Namako and Iriko: Historical overview on holothurian (sea cucumber) exploitation, utilization and trade in Japan; 3. Fish in the Marsh: A case study of freshwater fish farming in Hong Kong

II Tradition and Food Production; 4. Poonchoi: The production and popularity of a rural festive cuisine in urban and modern Hong Kong; 5. Convenient-Involvement Foods and Production of the Family Meal in South China; 6. Edible Mercy: Charity food production and fundraising activities in Hong Kong; 7. Estimating Rice, Agriculture, Global Trade, and National Culture in South Korea

III Restaurants and Food Production; 8. A Taste of the Past: Historically-themed restaurants and social memory in Singapore; 9. Indigenous Food and Foodways: Mapping the production of Ainu food in Tokyo; 10. Authenticity and Professionalism in Restaurant Kitchens

          IV Asian Cooking and World Cuisine; 11. In Search of a Macanese Cookbook; 12. Nyonya Cuisine: Chinese, non-Chinese, and the making of a famous cuisine in Southeast Asia; 13. From Malacca to Adelaide… : Fragments towards a biography of cooking, yearning and laksa; 14. Asia’s Contributions to World Cuisine: a beginning inquiry


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Sidney C.H. CHEUNG is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology in The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

TAN Chee-Beng is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.