China Seminar | 12 February 2015

Chinese New Year Food: Sights, Sounds, and Symbols

Daniel W. Y. Kwok Daniel W. Y. Kwok

The relationship between thought and food is a hallmark of the China Seminar. This relationship at Chinese New Year impinges on one’s senses with particular relevancy. Professor Kwok, for this session of the China Seminar, offers an encounter of the foods and occasions of this temperate zone civilization at this time of year. In lieu of a biographical sketch, Daniel Kwok, founding convener of the China Seminar already known to seminarians, has this to say in the “Foreword” that he wrote in a cookbook by his mother (he edited in 2013 just before his stroke in October that year). “Who does not remember a mother’s cooking? How many, though, can boast of a mother with over two hundred recipes of sensible Chinese cooking?” The cookbook also includes his essay: “The Pleasures of the Chinese Palate,” offering broader considerations of Chinese food beyond the new year.