The emperor's feast

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From the humble takeaway in the middle of a tiny English village to the embarrassment of riches offered in a big-city Chinatown, Chinese food is everywhere to be found. But the meals on offer merely scratch the surface of a rich and dizzyingly varied culinary tradition, spread across 5000 years of history and over the more than 30 provinces and regions that constitute modern China - not to mention the Chinese diaspora communities all across the world. In 'The Emperor's Feast', author and TV presenter Dr Jonathan Clements invites us into the history of Chinese food, starting with the earliest grain stews and the rudimentary chopsticks of the Bronze Age and taking us through the development of dining etiquette under Confucius, the popularisation of rice and the dawn of the dumpling in the 4th century.