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Culinary NostalgiaRegional Food Culture and the Urban Experience in Shanghai$
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Mark Swislocki

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760126

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760126.001.0001

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“Only Available in Shanghai”

“Only Available in Shanghai”

The Honey Nectar Peach and the Idea of Shanghai in Late Imperial China

Chapter:
(p.29) 1 “Only Available in Shanghai”
Source:
Culinary Nostalgia
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804760126.003.0002

This chapter is concerned with the importance of peaches to the idea of Shanghai, whose gardens and their finest product—the honey nectar peach—put Shanghai culture on the map. The development of the region's salt industry was a major turning point in Huating, and later Shanghai, history. Cotton heightened the commercialization of the Shanghai region. The reputation of Shanghai peaches and gardens arose with the gazetteer knowledge trail. The Treatise on the Honey Nectar Peach by Chu Hua supports the techniques employed in Shanghai to grow a successful crop, emphasizing that peaches were different from other fruit trees and presented growers with a unique set of challenges. Chen Wenshu noted that the peach had not previously been the subject of a botanical monograph. Chen's allusions put forth the idea that Shanghai had indeed become a “microcosm” of the Chinese realm, and of “the universe itself.”

Keywords:   honey nectar peach, Shanghai, salt industry, cotton, gardens, Chu Hua, Chen Wenshu

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