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Freshness and Power: Seafood in the Tang-Song Transition

Articles
Sumei YI (Sun Yat-sen University)
Year: 
2017
Volume: 
15
Number: 
1
Page: 
1-52
Abstract: 

The Tang-Song period passion for seafood is evident from the range of different representations: from tributary items not mentioned in the classical texts to the products recorded in local gazetteers of coastal regions; from the strangeness of unknown foods to the delicacies of the market that were a subject of elite conversation; from the rough food of non-Chinese "barbarians" and the lower classes to the gifts that circulated among the elite and the fine dishes at the imperial table; from exotic foreign luxuries to Chinese home-cooking; from the cuisine of the south to the tastes of the capital. Changing images of seafood reflect cultural changes and transformations in orders of knowledge during the Tang and Song. This transformation involved different kinds of spatial mobility: between north and south, urban and rural, central and local, maritime and terrestrial. It also involved constructions of relations of power within these spaces, and therefore were closely related to hegemonic discourse.

Journal of History and Anthropology