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The Emperor's Feast: 'A tasty portrait of a nation' -Sunday Telegraph

by Jonathan Clements

Hardback £25
Published 11th February 2021, 320 pages
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‘A tasty portrait of a nation’ Sunday Telegraph

‘A splendid introduction to the complex history of China

‘This book is itself a feast, each chapter a sumptuous course’
Frederik L. Schodt, author of My Heart Sutra

‘Witty and insightful’
Derek Sandhaus, author of Drunk in China


Author and presenter Jonathan Clements serves up the history of China - not according to emperors or battles, but according to its food and drink.

Stretching over 5,000 years and several continents, The Emperor’s Feast tracks different ingredients, dishes and eating habits across both time and geography, shaped by China’s political, cultural and technological evolution and remarkable entrance onto the world stage.

We see the influence of invaders such as the Mongols and the Manchus, and discover how food - like the fiery cuisine of Sichuan or the hardy dishes of the north - often became a stand-in for regional and national identities. We follow Chinese flavours to the shores of Europe and America, where enterprising chefs and home cooks created new traditions and dishes unheard of in the homeland.

From dim sum to mooncakes to General Tso’s chicken, The Emperor’s Feast shows us that the story of Chinese food is ultimately the story of a nation - not just the one that history tells us, but also the one that China tells us about itself.


The Emperor's Feast: 'A tasty portrait of a nation' -Sunday Telegraph
by Jonathan Clements


Hodder & Stoughton


Publication date
Feb. 11, 2021

23.6cm x 15.8cm x 3.2cm

Page count
320 pages