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ISSN 1934-6557

Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop (W.W. Norton) The Chinese call the province of Sichuan in southwest China "the land of plenty" and "the place for flavor." Although it is mostly known in the West for its hot-and-spicy dishes like Hot and Sour Soup and especially for its Kung Pao Chicken, the Chinese love Sichuan food for its inventive use of seasonings and its many styles of preparation, from sour-sweet, melting “lychee flavor” to punchy, seductive “fish-fragrant flavor.”

Fuchsia Dunlop immersed herself in Sichuanese cooking and culture for two years, gathering from regional chefs and home cooks a full range of recipes from soups to desserts. She became the first foreigner to study full-time at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine in Chengdu , China . She spent her spare time studying in the kitchens of some of the region’s most famous restaurants, exploring street markets and food stalls, and cooking and eating with her Sichuanese friends in their homes. Her passionate enthusiasm for the food and her fluency in the Chinese language gave her unprecedented access to China ’s most vibrant culinary region. Dunlop has given us a cookbook gathered on the spot from the kitchens of Sichuan . Useful for the enthusiastic beginner as well as the experienced cook, Land of Plenty teaches not only how to prepare the Sichuan recipes but also how to appreciate the textures of dishes.

Some examples of recipes include

  • Strange-Flavor Chicken (aka Bang Bang Chicken)
  • Zucchini Slivers with Garlic
  • Spicy Cucumber Salad
  • Twice-Cooked Pork
  • Dan Dan Noodles
  • Sweet-and-Sour Red Peppers
  • Beef Slivers with Sesame Seeds
  • Tea-Smoked Duck

Dunlop provides glossaries of Sichuan 's ingredients and cooking methods, and Chinese characters for and definitions of the twenty-three flavors at the heart of the Sichuanese culinary canon. Equally valuable for novices and experts, Land of Plenty offers a unique user-friendly introduction to one of China 's richest cuisines, and it is sure to take its place among the classics of Chinese cuisine.

 

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