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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Wang Zengqi, "Foods of My Hometown" Literature Essay (Essay Sample)


What memories does Wang Zengqi describe from his childhood about Parched Rice? Please discuss at least two literary texts he cites related to Parched Rice and what they say about this food item . How do his own memories relate to these literary texts?
How do duck eggs relate to Wang's memories of the Dragon Boat Festival and to the geography of his home region? According to Wang, what famous writers wrote about duck eggs?
How have Wang Zengqi's views on arrowhead changed over time, and what did his teacher Shen Congwen think about arrowhead?
What does Wang say about his own literary writings and how their depiction of food (please give two or more examples)?
What are some of the unique aspects of Wang's hometown, and how has food shaped his identity as a writer?
What memories does Wang have from the years of famine (i.e. "natural calamity") from 1959-61?
How does Wang's style of essay writing and treatment of food compare to other works we have read?
Please upload your 1-2 page response to the above questions to Canvas in a separate Word file, and base your responses on Wang Zengqi, "Foods in My Hometown." Chinese students can also read the original text: Wang Zengqi `` Food in Hometown ''
Optional Bonus 1:
According to Xiao Yao, Why is China “a paradise for a gourmet”?
What does Xiao Yao say about the depiction of food in The Dream of the Red Chamber?
What are Dong Po Pork and Hotpot? What is special about these dishes? (based on Xiao Yao, “China, A Paradise for a Gourmet”)
Optional Bonus 2:
1. According to Zhou Zuoren, what are the differences between the snacks of north and south China. What are some of the snacks that he describes?
2. What do you think of Zhou Zuoren's extensive use of literary allusions in his writing on food? How do you think his style of writing compares to Wang Zengqi and also to his brother Lu Xun?
(based on
Zhou Zuoren, North and South Dim Sum》)



Wang Zengqi cites Banqiao’s Letters from home, wherein he reminisces about the traditional Parched Rice. He describes how practical it was for people to eat parched rice soup. Banqiao’s literature presents that the parched rice was something that can be offered to anyone even in the icy cold of a winter sunset, served with pickled ginger for sauce. Banqiao writes how it can be warm and easy to eat for the elderly and poor people. Wang Zengqi also recalls how parched rice is served in boiling water at rail stations and docks in Sichuan. Wang Zengqi is fond of parched rice because it has been part of his culture and heritage. He appreciates the value of cultural food as integrated in his society and he writes about the variances and the uniqueness of how it is served in different locations.

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