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Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking Hardcover – 17 Jun 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co; 1st American Ed edition (17 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393051773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393051773
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 4.1 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking makes you think Elizabeth David had it easy. All she had to do was eat her way through France and Italy and translate the essence of the encountered cuisines for a ravenous, literate, English-speaking public. Fuschia Dunlop, on the other hand, went to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan in China, where she ended up the first foreign student enrolled at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. That was nearly 10 years ago. After annual return visits and endless research she has produced, in English, a magnificent introduction to the food and foodways of Sichuan. She is in every way the dharma inheritor of Elizabeth David.

You may start to salivate halfway through the introduction. Perhaps it begins when she explains "xian"--"one of the most beautiful words in the Chinese culinary language". It describes an entire range of flavour and sensation, "the indefinable, delicious taste of fresh meat, poultry and seafood, the scrumptious flavours of a pure chicken soup..." Before you know it you are running headlong into a world of 23 distinct flavours and 56 cooking methods (they are all listed at the end of the book). Sichuan is the place where "barbarian peppers" met up with a natural cornucopia and a literary cooking tradition stretching back to the fifth century AD. Innovation in cooking technique and new and challenging ingredients remains a hallmark of Sichuan.

After describing basic cutting skills and cooking techniques, Dunlop presents her recipes in chapters that include "Noodles, Dumplings, and Other Street Treats", "Appetizers", "Meat", "Poultry", "Fish", "Vegetables and Bean Curd", "Stocks and Soup", "Sweet Dishes" and "Hotpot". Yes, you will find gong bao (kung pao) chicken with peanuts, or "gong bao ji ding". It's named after a late 19th-century governor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen and brought on the wrath of the Cultural Revolution for its imperial associations. Until rehabilitation, the dish was called "fast-fried chicken cubes" or "chicken cubes with seared chilies."

Land of Plenty is literary food writing at its best, as well as a marvellous invitation to new skills and flavours for the home cook. Read it, cook it, eat it. And take pleasure in the emerging career of Fuschia Dunlop, a big new voice in the world of food. --Schuyler Ingle, Amazon.com

Review

With the official publication of her first book [Land of Plenty], Fuchsia Dunlop joins the ranks of literary food writers such as Elizabeth David and Claudia Roden.

Now, out of the blue, we have a seminal exploration of one of China's great regional cuisines, written with intelligence, sympathy, and impressive attention to the smallest details. In short, it's been years since a cookbook has excited me as much as this one. --John Thorne, author of The Outlaw Cook

The sort of eye-opening, groundbreaking, reporting-from-the-source kind of cookbook that until previously has been restricted to the provincial cooking of Italy and France. Now, out of the blue, we have a seminal exploration of one of China's great regional cuisines, written with intelligence, sympathy, and impressive attention to the smallest details. In short, it's been years since a cookbook has excited me as much as this one. --John Thorne, author of The Outlaw Cook

Fuchsia Dunlop's book shows an understanding of Sichuan cooking that is unique to my knowledge. It's for those on the lookout for real information about one of the world's most varied, full-flavored (and often misrepresented) cuisines. --Bruce Cost, author of Asian Ingredients

Sichuanese food has intrigued and enraptured the Western palate for ages. Now, finally a book that takes you to the source and unlocks the secrets of one of China's most celebrated cuisines. --Nina Simonds, author of A Spoonful of Ginger

A masterly paean to the cooking of one of the least-known provinces of China and it looks set to become a classic.... This is the cookbook you didn't know you needed. --Lindsey Bareham, winner, Glenfiddich and Andre Simon Awards

Fuchsia Dunlop is one of Britain's best writers on Chinese Food, and [Land of Plenty] makes this thrilling regional cuisine accessible to the amateur but enthusiastic... cook. --Guy Dimond, Food Editor, Time Out

Fuchsia Dunlop is one of Britain's best writers on Chinese Food, and [Land of Plenty] makes this thrilling regional cuisine accessible to the amateur but enthusiastic... cook. --Guy Dimond, Food Editor, Time Out

The sort of eye-opening, groundbreaking, reporting-from-the-source kind of cookbook that until previously has been restricted to the provincial cooking of Italy and France. Now, out of the blue, we have a seminal exploration of one of China's great regional cuisines, written with intelligence, sympathy, and impressive attention to the smallest details. In short, it's been years since a cookbook has excited me as much as this one. --John Thorne, author of The Outlaw Cook"

Fuchsia Dunlop's book shows an understanding of Sichuan cooking that is unique to my knowledge. It's for those on the lookout for real information about one of the world's most varied, full-flavored (and often misrepresented) cuisines. --Bruce Cost, author of Asian Ingredients"

Sichuanese food has intrigued and enraptured the Western palate for ages. Now, finally a book that takes you to the source and unlocks the secrets of one of China's most celebrated cuisines. --Nina Simonds, author of A Spoonful of Ginger"

A masterly paean to the cooking of one of the least-known provinces of China and it looks set to become a classic.... This is the cookbook you didn't know you needed. --Lindsey Bareham, winner, Glenfiddich and Andre Simon Awards"

You may not think you need a book on the cooking of the Sichuan province in Southwest China but this small, perfect book is illuminating and appealing.

Already one of the essential texts written in the English language.

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