The tale of Western encounters with Chinese food, either in China or in the West. Although really, "the West" seems to mean England and the US almost exclusively, with periodic dollops of French and Canadian experiences. Told in a very disjointed fashion, leaping from different places and times without transition. There doesn't appear to be any real thesis or point to this book, beyond just collecting various anecdotes, quotes, and restaurant figures over the course of several hundred years. I found it hard to get through, and came away without knowing much more than before.