Ming culinary culture: it’s all very beautiful, but what did they eat?

British Museum blog

Malcolm McNeill, project researcher and doctoral candidate, SOAS, University of London

In the book accompanying the BP exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China, curator Jessica Harrison-Hall’s chapter ‘Courts: palaces, people and objects’ vividly evokes the sumptuous banquets of the Ming elite. A Timurid embassy’s account of a feast held in a meadow on 20 August 1420 treats us to an enticing description of geese, roast fowl, and dried and fresh fruits, all artfully arranged to impress these Central Asian dignitaries. The alfresco fine dining experience was accompanied by courtly pageantry. Beautiful cross-dressed male performers danced for the envoys, while entertainers in papier-mâché animal masks moved like wild beasts. These same Central Asians tell us that the Yongle emperor (reigned 1403?1422), the warrior, dined on a multitude of meats in a single sitting and had a penchant for yellow wine made from grain or rice (huang jiu)…

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About elisabethpaultakeuchi

J'aimais la littérature. Aujourd'hui je laisse sur la toile des petits bouts de ci, des petits bouts de ça. Je reste sur les traces des auteurs passés, et je trace mes propres méridiens. Pas sûre quand même qu'ils soient assez longs pour vous y perdre.
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