The East Is Fed: How the Cultural Revolution Created a Unique Cuisine

In 1969, 12-year old Sasha Gong was sent from her home in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to the rural hinterlands to be "re-educated." It was the fourth year of what became the decade-long Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong's disastrous nationwide movement against "capitalist elements." It was also a time of severe food and fuel shortages that caused China's culinary tradition to flatline.

But as Gong and Scott Seligman, the authors of The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, point out, "it would be a huge mistake to assume that mere shortage of ingredients or fuel stopped Chinese...

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