Rice Talks

Rice Talks

Food and Community in a Vietnamese Town
Nir Avieli
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/30/2012
Format: Paperback 14 b&w illus., 1 map
ISBN: 978-0-253-22370-8
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:


Rice Talks explores the importance of cooking and eating in the everyday social life of Hoi An, a properous market town in central Vietnam known for its exceptionally elaborate and sophisticated local cuisine. In a vivid and highly personal account, Nir Avieli takes the reader from the private setting of the extended family meal into the public realm of the festive, extraordinary, and unique. He shows how foodways relate to class relations, gender roles, religious practices, cosmology, ethnicity, and even local and national politics. This evocative study departs from conventional anthropological research on food by stressing the rich meanings, generative capacities, and potential subversion embedded in foodways and eating.

Author Bio

Nir Avieli is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben Gurion University in Israel.


“In this very engaging narrative Avieli captures the flavor and richness of everyday lowland Vietnamese life, as well as the trials and tribulations of attempting to eke out a livelihood, fit within family hierarchical structures, and correctly pay homage to the necessary deities and ancestors.”
 — Sarah Turner, McGill University

“Readers with an interest in Vietnamese, Southeast Asian, and Asian cuisines and/or the influences of colonialism on local foodways will find the work useful. . . . Filled with descriptions of meals and dishes likely to get the culinarily-minded reader drooling. And almost any non-academic writer planning to do food-related research anywhere in the world could take something away from the final chapter, which discusses the practicalities of this type of research.”
 — Robyn Eckhardt, author of EatingAsia

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

1. Deciphering the Hoianese Meal
2. The Social Dynamics of the Home Meal
3. Local Specialties–Local Identity
4. Feasting with the Dead and the Living
5. Wedding Feasts: From Culinary Scenarios to Gastro-anomie
6. Food and Identity in Hoianese Community Festivals
7. Rice-cakes and Candied Oranges: Culinary Symbolism
in the Big Vietnamese Festivals
Conclusion: Food and Culture Interconnections
Epilogue: Doing Fieldwork in Hoi An

Related Titles