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Beyond the Great Wall [Hardcover]

Jeffrey Alford , Naomi Duguid
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £30.00
Price: £27.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 May 2008
In the West, when we think about food in China, what usually comes to mind are the signature dishes of Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai. But beyond the urbanized eastern third of China lie the high open spaces and sacred places of Tibet, the Silk Road oases of Xinjiang, the steppe lands of Inner Mongolia, and the steeply terraced hills of Yunnan and Guizhou. The peoples who live in these regions are culturally distinct, with their own history and their own unique culinary traditions. In "Beyond the Great Wall", the inimitable duo of Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, who first met as young travellers in Tibet - bring home the enticing flavours of this other China. For more than twenty-five years, both separately and together, Duguid and Alford have journeyed all over the outlying regions of China, sampling local home cooking and street food, making friends and taking lustrous photographs."Beyond the Great Wall" shares the experience in a rich mosaic of recipes - from Central Asian cuminscented kebabs and flatbreads to Tibetan stews and Mongolian hot pot, photos, and stories. A must-have for every food lover, and an inspiration for cooks and armchair travellers alike. Alford and Duguid's previous book, "Mangoes & Curry Leaves", was acclaimed International Cookbook of the year (2005) by the International Association of culinary Professionals (IACP).

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan Publishers (5 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579653014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579653019
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 28.5 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 621,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Art book but not a cook book 17 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like this book but not for the right reasons. Beyond the Great Wall is interesting as a food discovery book but its not a cook book - so dont get confused. the images are excellent, the experiences of food and eating in outer mongolia and wider China are equally fascinating but it does lack something. Although it contains recipes it isnt quite a cook book, nor a culinary travel adventure nor an adventure either. Feed the People was much better at describing the everyday food life in China. Don't get me wrong this is still an interesting and enjoyable book but I am not sure that its quite good value for money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So happy I bought this book. 2 July 2014
By Peter
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I totally love this book, it's the only book I know that actually shows you how to make hand pressed noodles. I've made a few recepies, including the Xinjiang food, which is always a hit with Westerners in China.In fact I would go as far as to say it is probably my favourite Chinese cooking book (I have a collection). It also took me back to the days when I was in China, before China exploded onto the world stage. Apart from showing you how to cook, it also takes you on a culinary journey through parts of China, and this makes a thoroughly enjoyable book when you're not about to cook something too. The recepies are simple and easy to follow, and made for normal people to do. The only gripe I have is the organisation of the book confuses me a bit, but it doesn't matter, because the pro's outweigh the cons a hundred times. Will probably buy this book for my brother, who is a big fan of Chinese street food.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book 2 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gives a good summary of some of the different ethnic minorities in China and very clear instructions on recipes that are easy to follow x
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling recipes and a wonderful ranging conversation with well-traveled, forthright friends 20 May 2008
By Cassandra Kobayashi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As the Introduction states, the world's borders would look very different if based upon food and culture. Chinese Muslims don't eat pork, and in rural Tibet, chicken is considered inedible. There are papayas in the south of China, and millet in the hot arid regions.

Beyond The Great Wall layers many elements on a strong foundation of interesting recipes - maps, food anthropology, and travel notes, generously illustrated with the authors' truly spectacular location photos, and evocative studio photos by Richard Jung, each carefully captioned.

The recipes require few special ingredients, and when they do, the resulting combination is a revelation, such as chile paste spiked with Sichuan peppercorns, or pomegranate-marinated lamb kebabs. Each recipe is thoughtfully introduced with suggestions for meal combinations, the dish's origin, thoughts on timing and ease of preparation. Eating your vegetables will be more interesting with new takes on salad, soup and vegetable sides. The Beef-Sauced Hot Lettuce Salad was a huge hit in my house when I was recipe-testing for the authors.

The bread chapter includes flatbreads, a loaf baked in a lidded pot, and little stuffed breads. For experienced noodle-makers, the variations in shaping and saucing are fascinating. For those new to handmade noodles, the pinch method in Earlobe Noodles provides an easy introduction.

The book doesn't pretend to be a catalog of "authentic" recipes, which would have us searching for riverweed or camel meat, and drying yak cheese on a yak-dung fire. Rather, this is a cookbook for those who want to enjoy foods and flavors from that part of the world, respectfully translated into the Western kitchen. And for those interested in tasting at the source, there is advice on planning a trip and sample itineraries. Fans of the authors' previous books will appreciate that the travel stories are attributed to either Naomi or Jeff. Finally, the Glossary is a good read in itself - how sprouting changes the nutrients in beans, or how to choose and make the most of Sichuan peppercorns.

My advice: buy this book and engage it like you would a wonderful ranging conversation with well-traveled, forthright friends.
50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars explore the cuisines of the other china 10 May 2008
By Doc Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Despite the glossy cover, this cookbook has been over 20 years in the making. It dates back to the authors' travels in tibet in the 80s, and then when plans for the book were made by their book agent, of further research trips in the 00s. Having visited China during the same timeframe dating to the 80s, I can attest to the wonderment of discovering the "other" China, of meeting caucasian chinese citizens from turkic tribes who speak perfect mandarin, of tasting perfect kebobs and roasts from mongolian and muslims cooks, of the religious mysticism of tibet. and it is this exotic "other" china on which this book is based on.

Since authentic cookbooks of even relatively well known minorities such as tibetans are hard to come by in english (and I suspect in chinese as well), it is a real treat to discover the cuisines of the uighurs and the mongols, and the dai and the hani, albeit for the most part reverse-engineered by the authors. Interspersed between the recipes are the authors' travel anecdotes of varying quality.

Indeed, it is their traveller's perspective passing through and re-engineering the dishes that admittedly exposes my own bias and ultimately my reservations about the book. With the bar for cookbooks set ever higher, the gold standard is for ethnic cookbooks to be written by cultural residents in the locales where the food is from, whether native or adopted, these people have had presumably years of experience making the food, as well as, the language skills and acumen(to get published!) in order to communicate this to us in the western mass market.

i certainly await the day when an enterprising young tuvan or uighur can share her grandmother's recipes with us (perhaps most likely in a blog rather than a glossy cookbook) but until that day comes, this book will remain a treasure.

i've had the pleasure of attending a forum hosted by james oseland, inviting jeff and naomi to discuss their new book. but i paid for my copy and do not have any financial disclosures to declare.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book 20 Aug 2008
By Brenda Pink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
People should put aside any political thoughts about this book. It is a beautiful book and travelogue by the authors who have extensively travelled in the area and write the text portions based on their own experiences. I found no strong hints of any political agenda. What I found instead was an extremely interesting commentary on the wildly varied peoples of China - from all regions lesser known - including Tibetans. The photographs are stunning, showing the beauty of these people. The recipes are simple and easily followed even for those of us who don't always have access to exotic ingredients (alternatives are given). The book makes me want to visit these areas, meet these people and eat the food. What can be bad about that?
47 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a cookbook 2 July 2008
By John Peter Ferreri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
To the gentleman from china with the one-star rating. Patriotism can be a good thing. But this is a cookbook -- it's not a political tract. I own all the cookbooks this pair of folks has put out. They're wonderful writers, photographers and cooks. They show us all part of the world we'll never get to see.
Do they have opinions about Tibet ... quite possibly. I haven't received the book yet. But you waste your energy is posting a review like you did. It works against you, sir, and undercuts your cause. Reasonable people can disagree about the China/Tibet situation (can't they?). But to think that this cookbook is being released now to make a statement against China is just not plausible. China has plenty to be proud of (as the authors have shown in several of their earlier books). Your review does not reflect well on China.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond The Great Wall... Is Beyond a Great Cookbook! 28 May 2008
By Glen Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Beyond the Great Wall... Beyond a Great cookbook.Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China
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