14th century banquets, British Empire influences on Asian food practices, ancient Indus foods, Jesuit tastes, Indian cheeses, pickles, Nyonya cooking and plenty of sweet things in China and Japan: this conference will give you a great taste of what modern scholars are working on in the field of Asian food.

The Shared Taste Conference takes place between 28th and 30th June and features scholars working across relevant disciplines to present papers on the Eurasian movement of crops, foodstuffs and food practices, and the role of food in the exchange between Asia and Europe.

The keynote and opening of conference will be on 28 June, by eminent French food historian Françoise Sabban (Paris), and the special featured speaker on 29 June is Asian food scholar Cecilia Leong-Salobir (Wollongong).

Registration now open:
Please register for the conference through this link.
You can attend all 3 days, or pick your programme. Your ticket includes tea and coffee at the conference venue (Thu, Fri, Sat) and buffet lunch (Thu, Fri). There is a limited amount of discount tickets for students.

Conference dates:

  • Thursday, 28 June, 12:00-18:00 hrs
  • Friday, 29 June, 9:30-18:00 hrs
  • Saturday, 30 June, 9:30-12:00 hrs

Leiden University, PJ Veth building (Nonnensteeg 1-3, Leiden, entrance through Academy Building gate) room 1.01 [central staircase]


Thursday, 28 June
13:00 KEYNOTE : Françoise SABBAN. Cooking in the spirit of the times in Eurasia – Special shared tastes of the medieval aristocratic haute cuisine in Europe and China14:00 Anil PARALKAR. Transculturality in a Pickle Jar:
The Globalization of Achar-Recipes in the Early Modern Period
14:30 Charisma LEPCHA. The introduction, production and consumption of mild and hard cheese in Kalimpong
15:00 Mareike PAMPUS. Captains, Cooks and Curries: Maritime Connections in Penang’s Nyonya Cuisine
16:00 ZHAO Mengxi. Fed by Books: The Circulation of Botanical Manuals for Famine Foods in East Asia and Europe, c.1500-1900
16:30 Vitalija Povilaityte-PETRI. Sweet flag (Acorus calamus L.) as food and herbal medicine in Lithuania
17:00 ZHENG Nan. Sweet potato: Introduction, Cultivation and Influence in China

Friday, 29 June
10:00 Cecilia LEONG-SALOBIR. A Taste of Three Cities: Historical sketches of British Empire influences on the food practices of 20th century Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore
11:00 Mukta DAS. The best laid plans (and tables)… Lusophone food and festivals in postcolonial Macau
11:30 Grazia Ting DENG. The Reproduction of Local Taste: Chinese Baristas in the Italian Coffee Bars
12:00 TAKENAKA Ayumi. From Sashimi to Tiradito: the Emergence of Nikkei Food in Europe
14:00 ZHOU Hongcheng. Chinese Food knowledge through the Westerners in the Middle of the 17th century
14:30 Piotr GIBAS. Food for the Jesuits: Western Diet in China before 1911
15:00 XU Guanmian (Victor). The Confusion of Sweetness: (Re-)Knowing Sugar in Early Modern China, 1500s-1630s
16:00 Uttam LAL. Mobility of Sugar and Salt across Himalayan Borderlands
16:30 Hui-ying KERR. Sweet Treats and Foreign Foods: Hanako Magazine and the internationalised women of the Japanese bubble economy
17:00 NALIVAYKO Oxana. Confectionary Dō: Tracing the history of sweets in Japan

Saturday, 30 June
10:00 Sussan BABAIE. Persian Cookery-Chinese rice: new ‘tastes’ in early modern Iran
10:30 Aleksandar SHOPOV. The Migration of Rice, People and Taste across the Dardanelles, 1400-1600
11:30 Jennifer BATES. Cultural Unifier, Local Staple or Exotic Luxury? Food as material culture in the Indus Civilisation, South Asia (c. 3200-1500BC)
11:00 Akshyeta SURYANARAYAN. What’s cooking in the Indus Civilisation?

More information on the conference, as well as a full programme and PDF of the abstracts, is available at the following link: Shared Taste Conference.

[This symposium is organised by the Shared Taste project at Leiden University, generously funded by the Kikkoman Foundation]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s