a book of traditional & modern recipes from the Teoswa diaspora
by Diana Zheng
Where is Teoswa?
Teoswa is the local pronunciation of Chaoshan (潮汕), the region in China’s eastern Guangdong Province comprising the cities of Teochew (Chaozhou), Swatow (Shantou), and Gigyong (Jieyang). It’s the ancestral homeland of about 25 million gaginang — that’s Teoswa for “our people.” It’s estimated that half of all Teoswa live outside of China.
Where did that half go?
Pretty much everywhere in the world! There are especially large Teoswa communities in Southeast Asia, North America, and Australia. (And extra-especially large communities in Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, California, and Paris.)
What are they eating?
That’s what I decided to find out & share with you by writing Jia!
What’s a “Jia”?
“Jia” is how you say “eat” in Teoswa — and based on my extremely scientific observations, it's every gaginang's favorite word.
Jia! is a cookbook with recipes from China, Southeast Asia, the US, and even Paris courtesy of a new friend/modern pen pal! (Thanks, internet!)
I (that is, Diana) ran a Kickstarter campaign to bring Teoswa flavors into American kitchens via (mostly) easy recipes and (sometimes very) detailed explanations of core ingredients and the Teoswa philosophy of cooking and eating. I visited China & SE Asia to learn about this unique cuisine and have been adapting, simplifying, and testing recipes to work even without access to a Teoswa wet market.