China to Chinatown : Chinese food in the West by J.A.G. Roberts

By J.A.G. Roberts

"Since Marco Polo first recorded his responses in 1275, the West's encounters with chinese language meals were a degree of the days. For Jesuit missionaries, consuming the unique meals of the folk used to be a manner of realizing them; for the British retailers within the 19th-century treaty ports, chinese language delicacies was once an item of suspicion. throughout the Cultural Revolution, meals was once political: regardless of common nutrients shortages, Read more...

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Gray added that the flesh of rats was also an article of food in some parts of the country including Guangzhou, where in winter dried and salted rats were sold in poultry shops. 5 Another authoritative description of Chinese food may be found in the revised edition of S. Wells Williams, The Middle Kingdom, which was published in 1883. Williams, an American missionary, began by noting the contribution which Chinese n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u ry r e a c t i o n s . 5 7 food had made to the ‘odd character’ which the Chinese bore abroad, even though ‘uncouth or unsavory viands’ formed only an infinitesimal portion of their food, and feasts not one thousandth of their meals.

4 7 the world was made here from an extract of beef, seasoned with a preparation of soy and other ingredients. Their vermicelli is excellent, and all their pastry is unusually light and white as snow. We understand it to be made from the buck wheat. The luxury of ice, in the neighbourhood of the capital, is within the reach of the poorest peasant . . Although Barrow was complimentary about the food provided for the embassy, he was under no illusions about the poverty of Chinese peasants. They could only obtain salt fish on rare occasions by bartering their vegetables, and a ‘morsel of pork to relish their rice is almost the only kind of meat the poor can afford to taste’.

Same way as in China, that is to say boiling water was poured over the leaves which had been placed in a special pot. Cold water was added to reduce the bitterness, and the tea was then drunk hot. Usually the Chinese took a piece of sugar in their mouths as they drank, which was not the custom of the Japanese. More water was added which produced a weaker tincture, and the leaves were then thrown away. As for the benefits to be obtained, Jaucourt noted that both the Chinese and Japanese attributed marvellous qualities to tea as a pleasant way of relieving all forms of suffering.

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