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Gourmets in the Land of FamineThe Culture and Politics of Rice in Modern Canton$
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Seung-Joon Lee

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772266

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772266.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Gourmets in the Land of Famine
Stanford University Press

Canton has always had an outstanding food culture, which has been widely touted as the most sophisticated local cuisine in China. It depended on the flow of commodities to attain what the city itself could not develop. In line with this, this book analyzes the interplay between those who managed the city's provisioning system and those who attempted to transform it through their own logic of modernity in the time between 1900 and 1937. It seeks to evaluate a new dimension of rice consumption: the question of rice quality. Cantonese food culture and the popularity of foreign-rice consumption flourished as an unintended result of the provincial rice insufficiency vis-à-vis a thriving world rice trade. The chapters in this book describe the dynamics of the interactions, clashes, and negotiations between the local Cantonese society and the modern Chinese state. Finally, overviews of each of the book's chapters are given.

Keywords:   Cantonese food culture, Canton, modernity, rice consumption, rice quality, Cantonese society, modern Chinese state

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