Chilies and China: Brian Dott on how a New World import defined regional cuisines in China


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This week on Sinica, we teamed up with Columbia University Press and the Columbia Global Centers to convene a conversation with Brian Dott, a professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at Whitman College and the author of The Chili Pepper in China: A Cultural Biography. Kaiser — who is something of a chili head himself — chats with Brian about how, when, and why the chili pepper came to China and became such a fixture of the cuisines of Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. 

7:19: Where chilies made landfall in mainland China

16:22: Chinese cuisine and cultural identity

25:48: Theories on how chilies proliferated throughout China

35:54: Chilies and medicinal applications