*Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China*

That will be the new Fuchsia Dunlop book, due out in October, July in the UK, self-recommending.  Her work is far more than recipes, but rather an extended meditation on food, history, culture and many other things.  She is one of my favorite authors on any subject.  Here is previous MR coverage of Fuchsia Dunlop.


I have a hard time believing all these books just recommend themselves to you. How would that even happen?

Damn ebony and ivory on this one Jan. Self-recommending may be he snuggest and most off putting tic Cowen has.

Her name sounds like a savory dish, I bet she'd be quite a dish!

Ray, without going into how I know this to be true, I would like to say that the author of the book knows more about the history of Chinese cooking than Carlsen and Fischer know (Carlsen) and knew (Fischer) about the history of chess. She merits the minimal respect of not having people make Letterman-level comments about her name. Chinese cookery - for all its faults (generally based in a Dust-Bowl-like-self-centered lack of empathy for the rest of creation) is an important subject (even more important than chess) inasmuch as the difficult lives so many Chinese people lead and have led (just like the rest of us) are so often made fantastically, at least momentarily, much less difficult by generous applications of culinary knowledge. That being said, I was hoping the next book by this author would be vegetarian - I am still looking for the best possible bean curd version of Pork Peking Style.

Books cannot be vegetarian (or non-vegetarian, for that matter). People can be vegetarian.

+1 for that kind of witty and useful critique that will endear people to you enormously.

Sarcastic criticism agreed with completely! Disappointed Desire to see a Vegetarian Cookbook from admired writer overwhelmed critical facilities! Forget the "chalet and Rolls, I want the Montrachet".

I've never met a cookbook that eats animals :)

From an earlier post on MR:

"8. I consider her Hunan book to be her most significant and original achievement, but Every Grain of Rice is the most useful single all-purpose Chinese cookbook she has written. It is especially good on the vegetarian side."

OK thanks. You don't have to know the history of chess to be a good chess player, and I would argue you can't really learn chess from reading a book (though it helps), likewise...well, you're smart, think it through.

Just don't buy the food in China.

Well since China doesn't have massive subsidies on food like the US has, they don't tend to export a lot outside of some products which are specific to Chinese food.

I think the major U.S. ag subsidies are price supports, which is not helpful for exports

I wasn't aware of that, however I couldn't find in a fairly short search whether the price guarantee is applied to domestic sales or to all production including that which is exported. I think it's worth noting that a) given the size of production, however, it will depress international prices and hence make other products less competitive, and b) since the US market is very large, this implies fewer exports opportunities for other countries' products entering into the US.

Well, try some of those chinese mushrooms. They may be marked "Produce of France."

China is well known in other countries as they eat a lot of rice and we eat Chinese rice which is without masala, and I really love it !

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