Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA
written by Robert Ji-Song Ku
2014 | 304 pages | 18 illustrations
Paper | ISBN 978-0-8248-3997-0 | $28.00
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3921-5 | $42.00
Food in Asia and the Pacific
In Dubious Gastronomy, Ku contends that dubious foods like California rolls, Chinese take-out, American-made kimchi, dogmeat, monosodium glutamate, and SPAM (to name a few) share a spiritual fellowship with Asians in the United States in that the Asian presence, be it culinary or corporeal, is often considered watered-down, counterfeit, or debased manifestations of the “real thing.” By exploring the other side of what is prescriptively understood as proper Asian gastronomy, Ku suggests that Asian cultural expressions occurring in places such as Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York City, and even Baton Rouge are no less critical to understanding the meaning of Asian food—and, by extension, Asian people—than culinary expressions that took place in Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai centuries ago.