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 nutrients were a degree of the days. For Jesuit missionaries, consuming the unique meals of the folks used to be a fashion of figuring out them; for the British retailers within the 19th-century treaty ports, chinese language food used to be an item of suspicion. through the Cultural Revolution, nutrients was once political: regardless of frequent nutrition shortages, Read more...

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Example text

He cited the wide variety of fruit and vegetables available, and noted that there was much sugar and ‘very good conserves’. He also described the drinking of tea, though he did not refer to it by name. He wrote that when one visited a household a servant came forward with cups of hot water This water is boiled with certain somewhat bitter herbs, and with a little morsel of conserve in the water. They eat the morsel and sip the hot water. 4 t h e w e s t e r n d i s c ov e ry o f c h i n e s e f o o d .

On several occasions Navarrete remarked on Chinese enjoyment of food and on the good food which was available. When in Zhejiang, he received a surprise visit from the city magistrate, a man of above 70 years of age who, he was told, every morning ate for his breakfast ‘30 Eggs, and a Dogs Leg, and drank two Quartillos of hot Wine’. ’ The quality of the rice wine of Jinhua was such that he did not miss the wine of Europe. The gammons of bacon were not inferior to the choicest from Estremadura and Galicia.

There was no finer eating than a Chinese ham. Other meat eaten by the Chinese included ‘Wild-Mare’s Flesh’, ‘Stags-pizzles’, ‘Bears-Paws and the feet of diverse Wild Creatures’. These were ‘Dainties fit for the Tables of Great Lords’. The ordinary people, however, Are very well pleas’d with the Flesh of Horses and Dogs, even tho they dye of Age of Sickness; nay they do not scruple eating Cats, Rats, and such like Animals, which are openly sold in the Streets. Of fish, there was scarcely any sort found in Europe which was not also to be found in China and there were other fish unknown in Europe, which had an excellent taste.

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