Mao restaurants

Mao restaurants
(Maojia Fanden/Maojia Caiguan)
In 1987, Maojia Fanden (Mao Restaurant) was opened in Shaoshan, Mao Zedong’s native place in Hunan province, to serve dishes called Maojiacai that Mao used to enjoy. Since Shaoshan had become a pilgrimage spot for millions of people including national leaders, the restaurant too became famous and in 1995 obtained a patent right from the government to monopolize the brand name ‘Maojia’. In 1999, it became incorporated and opened branch restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai.
In 1993, a new restaurant, Maojia Caiguan, was opened in Shaoshan to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Mao’s birth, and soon numerous other small restaurants serving Mao dishes appeared. In Beijing, sixty restaurants serving Mao dishes were reported in 1999. Maojiacai is similar to Hunanese home cooking (jiachangcai), which has also become famous through media attention. Nowadays, many restaurants invent and modify spicy dishes under the name of Mao. The popularity of Mao restaurants is understood in connection with the Mao cult that has surged in the middle of post-socialist changes (see Neo-Maoism and Mao Fever).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.