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Cuisine of the Overseas Chinese in the Western United States: Using Recipes to Interpret Archaeological Plant Remains

Author(s): Virginia Popper

Year: 2017

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Summary

Most of the Chinese who immigrated to the United States in the mid to late 19th century came from a few districts in southern China, an area with a well-developed cuisine. They brought ingredients, cooking equipment, dining implements, and seeds for garden crops to prepare food for daily meals and festivities. However, their culinary traditions were modified by a variety of factors including the absence of some ingredients, the easy availability of Euro-American foods, and restrictions on the immigration of women, which meant that in the United States men often became the cooks. Cooking Chinese dishes in remote mining and railroad construction camps was more challenging than in urban centers. This paper explores how cookbooks can help us interpret the dishes and meals represented by the plant remains from late 19th-century Chinese contexts in the western United States and how they document changes in traditional Chinese foodways.


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Cuisine of the Overseas Chinese in the Western United States: Using Recipes to Interpret Archaeological Plant Remains. Virginia Popper. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430579)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15384

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America