伴隨著經濟成長，人們的開始認同，「名氣」是挑選產品的重要考量，推到極致竟將昂貴等同優質，消費風氣日漸轉向奢侈，飲食文化也愈趨浮華。客觀環境上因有宋初勳貴為躲避猜忌而專注生活享受，以及文人社會地位的提升等背景，連帶引領了這股奢華飲食風潮。北宋部分文人對此現象感到不滿，起而倡導個人自我約束品行的價值觀，及清淡儉樸飲食觀念，能夠在看重生活享受的風氣中，形成一道中流砥柱。因此北宋飲食文化呈現奢侈與儉約並行，形成一大一小的風貌。 The dietary culture in Northern Sung Dynasty has two prevailing subjects. One is its dietary diversity in general population that was developed during its time of urbanization. The diversity developed in this period has essential influence on dietary culture in later ages. Another subject discussed is the plain and frugal dietary style among its literate population. Literate people’s paying attention to frugal diet makes it another noticeable subject for one to study, however, few were looking into the origin of such phenomenon and its long-term development. Therefore this literature is meant to discuss the dietary features and the developing process of those features among literate population in Northern Sung Dynasty.
The literate population’s attitude toward food changed through the factors from politics, economics, and literature style. One example is the construction of infrastructure right after the nation had been founded. It integrated the nation and secured the stable growth of the population. Northern Sung’s urbanization kept the market’s demanding on new methods for crop growth. With the sufficient food supply, people can then afford the luxury for non-staple food. This made the specialization of non-staple food growing--we saw evidence of this from records of expert growing on a large scale--happened, and they also developed a systematic product and marketing channel. Here we see that they have formed an economy of production.
Thanks to the expertise in manufacturing foods, the food can be preserved a long period. This advantage advanced further by transportation. The transportation reached every corner of the nation. They also had their own specialization for different customer demands. There were people doing transportation did it as a full-time occupation.
Through its economic growth and recognition of people, fame had become one of the factors influencing consumers’ choice of productions. High expense were seen as high quality. The consumers tended to purchase products of extravagance, as well as products in foods.
In the beginning of the dynasty, nobles plunged themselves in places of luxury for political reasons. Estate of literate population were also raised at that time that made them join to the trend of prodigal life with the nobles. Parts of the population reacted to the trend, and demanded for personal restriction and evaluation. This demand thus generated the frugal dietary feature we see today, and made it a subculture at the time, paralleled the prodigal diet culture with its minor force.