“Extensive source materials in both Chinese and English form the bedrock for this impressive study into how a relatively unassuming American import so radically changed one country’s cuisines and traditional pharmacopoeia. The history of the humble chile in China is a fascinating one, especially as viewed through Brian R. Dott’s affectionate yet scholarly lens.”
~Carolyn Phillips, author of All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China
Chinese cuisine without chile peppers seems unimaginable—yet there were no chiles anywhere in China prior to the 1570s, when they were introduced from the Americas. In The Chile Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography, Brian R. Dott, Associate Professor of History and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at Whitman College, explores how the nonnative chile went from obscurity to ubiquity in China, influencing not just cuisine but also medicine, language, and cultural identity.
We will feature this work throughout the week, starting with today’s giveaway! Check back on Thursday for a post by Dott on the medicinal uses of chile peppers in China’s history, and again on Friday to watch a video about the ubiquitous chile pepper.
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