I'd never heard of this ancient Chinese cookbook! Can't find anything about it online either - did she make this part up? She misspelled the name of the Chinese emperor, Shennong
This post on the oldest cookbooks is interesting, too:
I'm fascinated by her description of the Egyptian diet though! Bread, fish, meat, leeks and onions, honey.
And her descriptions of Egyptian home decor and architecture! She definitely seems to have fallen prey to a late version of Orientalism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orientalism)
What was the most difficult thing from this essay for you to imagine yourself eating? For me it wasn't the locusts (although, eww), it was the peacocks!
I looked up a recipe for the Greek "hippocras" wine and here it is:
Looking at the ingredients, I see why she called it a "syrupy punch."
If anybody could find the Hon-Zo cookbook it would be you, Carrie, so perhaps she spelled things wrong?
I wonder what her primary sources were, or her library access, way back in 1934, when she researched historical Greek and Egyptian foods.
I just wanted to say:
I'm now awaiting delivery on the first six months of M.F.K Fisher books. This subject looked super interesting and despite being strapped for cash; my bills are paid, and this is worthwhile enrichment.