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Culinary History of Taipei, A: Beyond Pork and Ponlai

Crook, Steven
Hung, Katy Hui-wen

978 1 5381 0137 7
List price(s):
38.00 USD
24.95 GBP
34.95 EUR

Publication date:
8 October 2018

Short description: 

Taipei is a gourmet's destination where people buy fresh produce almost every morning of the year; where weddings are celebrated with streetside banquets; and where baristas craft cups of world-class coffee. Crook and Hung invite readers to learn more about the city's fascinating foodways and the diverse culture behind them.

Full description: 

There is a compelling story behind Taiwan's recent emergence as a food destination of international significance. A Culinary History of Taipei is the first comprehensive English-language examination of what Taiwan's people eat and why they eat those foods, as well as the role and perception of particular foods. Distinctive culinary traditions have not merely survived the travails of recent centuries, but grown more complex and enticing. Taipei is a city where people still buy fresh produce almost every morning of the year; where weddings are celebrated with streetside bando banquets; and where baristas craft cups of world-class coffee. Wherever there are chopsticks, there is curiosity and adventurousness regarding food. Like every great city, Taipei is the sum of its people: Hard-working and talented, for sure, but also eager to enjoy every bite they take. Drawing on in-depth interviews with the leading lights of Taiwan's food scene, meticulously sifted English- and Chinese-language materials published in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and rich personal experience, the authors have assembled a unique book about a place that has added all kinds of outside influences to its own robust, if little understood, foundations.

Table of contents: 

Chapter 1 Nature's Larder Chapter 2 The Kitchen Chapter 3 Iconic and Emerging Foodways Chapter 4 Offerings, Festivals and Special Foods Throughout the Year Chapter 5 The Farms That Feed Taipei Chapter 6 Supplying the Consumer: Taipei's Markets Chapter 7 Landmark Restaurants Chapter 8 Tipples and Teas Chapter 9 Teaching, Sharing and Learning Taiwanese Cuisine Chapter 10 Signature Dishes and Recipes


Steven Crook has freelanced for Taiwan's English-language newspapers and inflight magazines in the region since 1996, writing about travel, culture, business and environmental issues as well as food. His articles have appeared in Christian Science Monitor, South China Morning Post, and CNN Traveler Asia-Pacific, as well as several other magazines and newspapers. Recent assignments have included indigenous restaurants, an overview of Taiwan's world-beating oolong teas, Taipei's whiskey and cocktail bars, and the role of the papaya in local farming and cooking. He's had four books about Taiwan published, including Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide. Katy Hui-wen Hung is a Taipei native, an avid collector of recipes and culinary stories, as well as a passionate advocate of Taiwanese cuisine. She has assisted a number of well-known food writers on their Taipei food assignments, including Andrea Nguyen and Robyn Eckhardt.




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