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Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet Hardcover – 27 Oct 2000
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From the Inside Flap
Luminous at dawn and dusk, the Mekong is a river road, a vibrant artery that defines a vast and fascinating region. Here, along the world's tenth largest river, which rises in Tibet and joins the sea in Vietnam, traditions mingle and exquisite food prevails.
Award-winning authors Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid followed the river south, as it flows through the mountain gorges of southern China, to Burma and into Laos and Thailand. For a while the right bank of the river is in Thailand, but then it becomes solely Lao on its way to Cambodia. Only after three thousand miles does it finally enter Vietnam and then the South China Sea.
It was during their travels that Alford and Duguid--who ate traditional foods in villages and small towns and learned techniques and ingredients from cooks and market vendors--came to realize that the local cuisines, like those of the Mediterranean, share a distinctive culinary approach: Each cuisine balances, with grace and style, the regional flavor quartet of hot, sour, salty, and sweet. This book, aptly titled, is the result of their journeys.
Like Alford and Duguid's two previous works, "Flatbreads and Flavors" ("a certifiable publishing event" --"Vogue") and "Seductions of Rice" ("simply stunning"--"The New York Times"), this book is a glorious combination of travel and taste, presenting enticing recipes in "an odyssey rich in travel anecdote" ("National Geographic Traveler").
The book's more than 175 recipes for spicy salsas, welcoming soups, grilled meat salads, and exotic desserts are accompanied by evocative stories about places and people. The recipes and stories are gorgeously illustrated throughout with more than 150 full-color food and travel photographs.
In each chapter, from Salsas to Street Foods, Noodles to Desserts, dishes from different cuisines within the region appear side by side: A hearty Lao chicken soup is next to a Vietnamese ginger-chicken soup; a Thai vegetable stir-fry comes after spicy stir-fried potatoes from southwest China.
The book invites a flexible approach to cooking and eating, for dishes from different places can be happily served and eaten together: Thai Grilled Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce pairs beautifully with Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad and Lao sticky rice.
North Americans have come to love Southeast Asian food for its bright, fresh flavors. But beyond the dishes themselves, one of the most attractive aspects of Southeast Asian food is the life that surrounds it. In Southeast Asia, people eat for joy. The palate is wildly eclectic, proudly unrestrained. In "Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet," at last this great culinary region is celebrated with all the passion, color, and life that it deserves.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR JEFFREY ALFORD AND NAOMI DUGUID'S AWARD-WINNING BOOKS:
Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker's Atlas and Seductions of Rice
"Their latest book is simply stunning."--The New York Times
"A touching and vivid account" --Food & Wine
"A huge concept and Alford/Duguid are well suited to the task." --The Globe and Mail
"If you by one cookbook this year, make it this one." --USA Today
"A certifiable publishing event . . . a breakthrough . . ." --VogueSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
By rights it should be laminated as it might protect the lovely full-colour photographs from being drooled upon as one develops pangs of hunger whilst reading, such is the realistic, lifelike and wonderful images that pepper this book.
Anyway.. the Mekong river is used as a thread within this book as it travails through south-east Asia, explaining and exploring the different yet related cultures and communities and helping to identify what makes their respective culinary cultures tick.
This is not a recipe book with a bit of background thrown in for good measure but a real cultural immersion into south-east Asian countries and their respective tables. You do not, or more precisely should not, use this book as a quick "in and out" reference but instead immerse yourself in its wonder and gain inspiration through educational osmosis. Recipes are not so much picked after searching for something familiar. They seem to be suggested through inspiration and intuition.
The recipes are not split into specific countries but presented by categories and uses, allowing a regional fusion to occur through sections such as Everyday Dependables, Indispensable Condiments, Kids Like It, Breakfast Specials, Vegetarian Options, In the MIddle of Winter and Feast Foods.
Each recipe is presented clearly with both an English language and local language name, a great introduction or overview and very detailed preparation instructions (albeit with only imperial measurements). One gets the impression that the book is designed for leisurely cookery, experimentation and enjoyment.Read more ›
One of the best cookery books I've come across in ages. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fabulous book. A "coffee table" book but with huge practicalities. I loved the beginning with the map of the Mekong river and all the adjoining coungries. Read morePublished 21 months ago by j piers
If you are into south east asian food youve got to get this book. It has some great recipes and fabulous photograpyPublished on 28 Jan. 2013 by H. Harriott