Food, Culture, and Politics in Asia

Course Number: ASAN 494
Course Title: Food, Culture, and Politics in Asia
Course Description: Why do Asian families ask, “Have you eaten?” in place of “How ya doin?” Why are spices a foreboding presence in many a religion, our various bodily functions, sex (of course), and colonialism? Are Chicken Masala and Chopsuey really Asian food? What is the politics behind our fear of calories? Why do Filipinos consider balut as the original Viagra? How do we explain Hawaii’s and Asia’s love for SPAM and “mainland” America’s repulsion of it? These are just some of the questions we will explore in this course that may include food tours and discussions by chefs of their favorite Asian cuisines.