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Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader Paperback – September 23, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Full of provocation and insight, this collection productively investigates the complicated and often racialized relationships between consumer, producer, and nation. Foundational in its interdisciplinary, transnational critique of cuisine-driven multiculturalism, Eating Asian America skillfully navigates the vexed terrain of food politics."-Cathy J. Schlund-Vials,author of War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work

"The essays themselves are readable and concise. Each scholar... [is] successful in reaching a very large audience, from Asian American scholars to those simply interested in food histories and identities." -Christopher Patterson,The International Examiner

"Featuring 20 essays, this volume connects Asian food to larger social, economic, political, and historical contexts in the US....The essays in this volume not only constitute the first academic book on the topic with such comprehensiveness, but also investigate the social hierarchy that exists around race, gender, sex, class, and ethnicity."-Y. Kiuchi,CHOICE

“[Manalansan] coedits the interdisciplinary collection of essays exploring the ways in which eating and culinary practices reflect and reinforce class, racial, and gender inequalities among Asian-American immigrants.”-Rochester Review

Eating Asian America does an excellent job of introducing the Asian/Asian American perspective to the discipline of food studies.  This book is a highly useful, and much needed addition to food studies.  It is a significant addition to the growing conversation about American foodways; as such, it is important that this book not be considered to explore a niche topic.”-Graduate Journal of Food Studies

About the Author

Robert Ji-Song Ku is Associate Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University. He is the author of Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA (forthcoming 2013).



Martin F. Manalansan IV is Associate Professor of anthropology and Asian American studies and Conrad Professorial Humanities Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (2003) and co-editor of Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (NYU, 2013).

Anita Mannur is Associate Professor of English and Asian /Asian American Studies at Miami University. She is the author of Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 453 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (September 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479869252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479869251
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Should the celebrated "Alice B. Toklas Cookbook" have been credited to the Vietnamese men who cooked for Alice and Gertrude in France? How do you feel about Uzbeks bringing their passion for horse meat sausages into conformity with Moslem dietary laws by a little sleight of hand? Had you realized how food can affect the complex relationships among queer Indian women living in Great Britain?

This edited collection is a chance for readers fascinated with culture, history, and food to learn about the Toklas-Vietnamese connection, the dilemnas of Moslem Uzbeks, the implications of the queer kitchen, and a lot more. The editors intend to "examine the importance of centering the study of foodways and culinary practices on theorizing [about] the racialized underpinnings of Asian Americans....[the authors] refuse to yield to the superficial multiculturalism that naively celebrates difference and reconciliation through the pleasures of food and eating." (p. 3)

"Eating Asian American" brings together 20 such essays, about 430 pages in all, none of them yielding to superficial multiculturalism, arranged in four sections:

-- "The Labors of Taste" mostly deals with the workers---the hard-working entrepreneurs of Cambodian doughnut shops in California, the Japanese cafeteria ladies of post-War Hawaii, the remarkable feat of scholarship tracing the life of a Chinese cook in New York, Los Angeles' taco trucks, and a fascinating study of the origins & socio-political implications of the chefs & farmers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine.
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Format: Paperback
Many dishes that are popular in Asian restaurants in the USA (and other countries) might not be immediately recognised as authentic in their originating countries. But how did they get there? Through immigration or were they borrowed from distant lands and interpreted by the host country's own nationals?

This book looks at the crossover between Asian-American "Asian Food", ethnic authenticity and integration into the mainstream through an academic lens. Twenty scholars from a variety of different disciplines present mini essays looking at various topics with titles such as "Cambodian Doughnut Shops and the Negotiation of Identity in Los Angeles", "Gannenshoyu or First-Year Soy Sauce? Kikkoman Soy Sauce and the Corporate Forgetting of the Early Japanese American Consumer", "Apple Pie and Makizushi: Japanese American Women Sustaining Family and Community" and "The Globe at the Table: How Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian Reconfigures the World".

This is one of those books that isn't for everybody yet it does give a lot to those who are receptive. A foodie with an eye past their table, an academic on a specific course of study and research or even just someone who really likes reading uncommon, thought-provoking stuff will have many hours of engaging, focussed reading ahead of them and, if required, a mass of further reading suggestions to expand their knowledge further if desired from this book. But if you are expecting a book that will in a few hundred words tell you why a specific dish you might eat in a Chinese restaurant in New York is nothing like a similarly-named dish served up in Beijing, this book is not for you.
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Format: Paperback
As a food historian, I found this collection of essays fascinating. How we perceive 'Asian' food, and how it is prepared by Asian Americans can be two totally different things. Many of these essays focus on a particular aspect of how Asian food was either adopted or adapted by Americans. I found the essay on the Japanese internees and how they tried to keep family, culture and food together in an institutional setting.
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the book is a bit daunting and some of the essays read at a high college level, but the information is very interesting. I enjoyed reading about the influences of Asian culture into American food culture.
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