Making Crayfish Local: A Study of Spicy Crayfish Dish in a Third-Tier City in China Faculty of Arts
Speaker: Prof. Sidney C. H. Cheung (Department of Anthropology)
Date: 7 March 2014 (Fri)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract: The talk examined the ethnography of crayfish (P. clarkii) farming from the socio-cultural perspective in the context of the fast changing food production and consumption scene in China today. This Louisiana crayfish was brought to Jiangsu province by the Japanese in the 1930s and was not welcomed by local people, as it did not bring benefits to the community but caused damage to crops. However, the situation changed while it was cooked in a dish called “Xuyi Thirteen Spices Little lobster”, which has brought business opportunities to a third/fourth-tier city since the 1990s; together with the establishment of the (International) Lobster Festival in 2000 and Lobster Museum in 2005, the project portrays our understanding of urban development in China’s third tier cities in various aspects. The speaker has been visiting this city for several years and would like to share with colleagues findings from the study of crayfish from a cultural point of view.


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