- new cookbooks, recipes
- Since the 1980s, changes in China’s economic and social life have also impacted its cookbooks and recipes. Take People’s Recipes (Dazhong caipu), published by the Chinese Light Industry Press in the mid 1960s, for example. Cabbages and carrots predominate, as they did the national diet. Its 264 recipes, which were meant to add spice to a harsh life, could barely be detached from it: a typical recipe might be simply cabbage boiled with salt, lard and scallion.In the late 1990s, the press not only revised the cookbook, but also dished out an 18,000recipe series, People’s Dinner Tables (Dazhong canzhuo), including the cookbooks Meat Delicacies (Meiwei roucai), Delicious Vegetables (Shuangkou shucai) and Savoury Seafood (Xianxiang yuxia).As people aspire to a healthier life, the market for new cookbooks of medicinal foods and recipes conducive to weight loss and beauty is growing rapidly. A 500-page Latest Practical Healer Food Recipes for the Contemporary Family (Zuixin shiyong xiandaijiating yaoshanshipu) sells for $280. Other bestsellers include ethnic recipes; ancient recipes, particularly of royal families; recipes from natural food sources; and ones prompted by new cooking devices like microwaves and rotisseries. The quality and format of cookbooks have also improved—a new trend is to accompany recipes with photo samples. Digitized recipes are available on CD-ROMs, VCDs and the Web, while television programmes offer cooking shows like Daily Meals (Tiantian yinshi). Though weeds and game are appealing food sources, cookbooks usually shun recipes that make use of protected flora and fauna, which may occasionally be found illicitly in restaurants.YUAN HAIWANG
Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. Compiled by EdwART. 2011.