Trim: 6⅜ x 9½
978-0-7591-2075-4 • Hardback • November 2011 • $121.00 • (£93.00)
978-0-7591-2077-8 • eBook • October 2011 • $114.50 • (£84.00)
Erica J. Peters is co-founder and director of the Culinary Historians of Northern California and has written on various aspects of Vietnamese history and cuisine.
Prologue: Hunger and Revolution
Chapter 1. Vietnamese Culinary Imperialism
Chapter 2. Culinary Diversity in the Colonial Countryside
Chapter 3. Cooking up Monopolies
Chapter 4. Fighting Back: The Factory Alcohol Boycott
Chapter 5. Chinese Cuisine, Commerce, and Contamination
Chapter 6. Imported Foods, Imperial Foods
Chapter 7. Conspicuous Consumption
Selected Bibliography and Sources
Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam is food studies at its best, but it is also much more. Erica J. Peters demonstrates, with both intellectual elegance and a deeply rooted sense of food, how culinary choices are a marker of historical change. Using a diverse array of sources, she goes against the grain to explore everyday life in Vietnam in the long nineteenth century, affording a penetrating insight into what Vietnamese people wanted to be in a time of economic struggle and colonialism, and into how ordinary people experienced habitus and change, adaptation and contestation, even creativity. Appetites and Aspirations in Vietnam is a gourmet meal that leaves the reader satisfied…. The wide range of narratives of food Peters explores … sheds new light on disparities of gender, ethnicity, and wealth. Food may have been a tool of imperialism; it certainly became a tool of nationalism in modern Vietnam. Nobody would have expected the history of a ‘fusion cuisine’ would tell as much.
— Laurence Monnais, Université de Montréal
A reviewer of the wide-ranging Appetites and Aspirations could evaluate this rich study along any number of axes: economic history, the history of imperial and colonial Vietnam, or the history of race and ethnicity, to name a few. Nonetheless, food is most emphatically Peters’s preferred ground and where she anchors her argument that French and Vietnamese used diet to shape radically divergent identities in colonial Indochina….It would be unfair to expect a study so ambitious to succeed equally well on so many fronts….Nonetheless, this fascinating and suggestive narrative of nineteenth-century imperial and colonial Vietnam will appeal to a wide range of general readers and specialists.
— H-France Review