“Authentic” Chinese Food by Malinda Lo
If you’re interested in Asian cooking at all, there is a fascinating link over at Malinda Lo’s website. (the article’s focused on China, but a lot of it applies to other Asian cookbooks, and probably other cultures as well)
It’s a bit of a mouthful (it’s an academic article, and it’s quite long), but it takes a look at the notion of authenticity over time, and how it’s mainly built to exclude certain people from the norm (whether the norm is the lost motherland, or later on, the “typical” Chinese American experience). It’s also a very highly detailed analysis of the social and cultural norms behind cookbooks, and it’s fascinating to see the amount of tropes and messages that lurk at the heart of the books. I’ll certainly never view a cookbook in the same way ever again….