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Land of Plenty: A Treasury Of Authentic Sichuan Cooking Hardcover – 27 May 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

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Amazon.com Review

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 too may start to salivate halfway through the introduction to Dunlop's magnificent Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking. Perhaps it begins when she explains xian, "one of the most beautiful words in the Chinese culinary language." It describes an entire range of flavor and sensation, "the indefinable, delicious taste of fresh meat, poultry, and seafood, the scrumptious flavors of a pure chicken soup..." Before you know it you are running headlong into a world of 23 distinct flavors 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 A.D. Innovation with 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--Gong Bao Ji Ding. It's named after a late 19th-century governor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen, which 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 marvelous invitation to new skills and flavors 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

From Booklist

Englishwoman Fuchsia Dunlop spent several years in Sichuan, studying first at the university, then at Chengdu's prestigious cooking school. Her fascination with the food of China's obsessively gastronomic province has resulted in Land of Plenty, a comprehensive collection of the best Sichuanese recipes. Even those conversant with Chinese ingredients may profit from Dunlop's introductory glossary of Sichuan foodstuffs and kitchen implements. Her recipes cover those delicious dumplings and other snacks often sold from pushcarts on the region's streets. From there she moves forward into main dishes on the order of Sichuan's noted Ma Pou Dou Fu, a spicy melange of bean curd, ground beef, and chilies. She offers several variations of the dry-fried green beans so popular in American Chinese restaurants. Dunlop's cerebral explanation of Sichuan's 23 flavors contributes enormously to culinary theory, and there's a glossary of Chinese terms as well. Easy-to-follow recipes use ingredients available from any well-stocked Asian American market. This is an essential volume in any world cookbook collection. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ WW Norton; 1st American Ed edition (27 May 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0393051773
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0393051773
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 kg 280 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.81 x 4.06 x 24.38 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars A voyage through the pages. Indepth writing. Specific recipes. A dedicated reader of her books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Confirmation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 July 2011
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely my favorite cookbook!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 October 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 November 2019
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eve graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 March 2017
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