Huangjiu or Chinese Yellow Wine: The Evolution of Traditional Huangjiu in Shaoxing

Hui, Ka Fung Gavin
Neill, Lindsay
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Master of Gastronomy
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Auckland University of Technology

Because huangjiu is uniquely linked to Chinese history, it holds a special place in modern China. Cognisant of that, and using secondary data analysis, my dissertation explores huangjiu’s traditional brewing and its contemporary practice, concentrating upon the huangjiu produced in Shaoxing, a city in China. The aim of my research was to explore how huangjiu from Shaoxing has changed over time. Key to that narrative have been Western technologies, commercialisation, and the positioning of huangjiu as the beverage most associated with China. In that way, huangjiu has a socio-political connotation that reflects the beverage’s socio-temporality. Consequently, my research reflects the wider consideration that vernacular items like huangjiu are dynamically constructed. In that sense, huangjiu is a metaphor signifying how many ancient and contemporary Chinese people have come to make sense of their world. My dissertation offers a unique insight into huangjiu, because many of my secondary sources are not available in the English language. Through their translation and addition to my research, this dissertation extends what is known about huangjiu within the Western academy in deep and meaningful ways.

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