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Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan$
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Eric Rath

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262270

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262270.001.0001

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The Barbarians’ Cookbook

The Barbarians’ Cookbook

(p.85) Chapter 4 The Barbarians’ Cookbook
Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan

Eric C. Rath

University of California Press

The Southern Barbarians' Cookbook is a culinary text that speaks to important changes in Japan's foodways in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Written in the seventeenth century, if not earlier, the book is a collection of Portuguese and Spanish recipes, making it unique among premodern culinary writings in Japan. Accordingly, it offers insight into historical developments outside of cooking and is the missing link in the transition from culinary texts to culinary books. The Barbarians' Cookbook also reveals broader developments in foodways in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It describes the introduction of new food ingredients, cooking techniques, and dishes that would reshape the Japanese cuisine. The book may not have been widely circulated until modern times, but it offers a chance to examine the links and the gaps between the elite medieval culinary world and the developing popular trends in the Edo period in terms of ingredients (food) and thinking about food (fantasy).

Keywords:   Southern Barbarians' Cookbook, Japanese cuisine, foodways, recipes, cooking, culinary books, food ingredients, Edo period, fantasy, Japan

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