Invitation to a Banquet: The Story of Chinese Food by Fuchsia Dunlop

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  • ISBN 10 0241516986
  • ISBN 13 9780241516980
  • Published Oct 10 2023
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 416
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher W. W. Norton & Company

Publishers Text

The epic tale of the world's most sophisticated gastronomic culture, brilliantly told through a banquet of thirty Chinese dishes Chinese was the first truly global cuisine. When the first Chinese labourers began to sojourn and settle abroad, restaurants appeared in their wake. Yet Chinese has the curious distinction of being both one of the world's best-loved food traditions and one of the least understood. For more than a century, the overwhelming dominance of a simplified form of Cantonese cooking has ensured that few foreigners have experienced anything of its richness and sophistication - but today that is beginning to change. In Invitation to a Banquet, award-winning cook and writer Fuchsia Dunlop explores the culture, history and philosophy informing real Chinese cookery. Each chapter examines the way a particular dish expresses a singular aspect of Chinese gastronomy, from the importance of soup to the history of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Starting with sweet-and-sour pork, that classic of British Chinese takeaway cooking, Fuchsia examines the ways in which Chinese food has been understood and misunderstood in the West since its earliest days as an immigrant cuisine. Then the real feast begins: a journey into Chinese food as it is made, cooked, eaten and considered in China itself, through a diverse series of dishes including Mapo Tofu, Dongpo Pork, Knife-scraped Noodles and Pomelo Pith with Shrimp Eggs. Weaving together history, mouthwatering descriptions of food and on-the-ground research conducted over the course of three decades, Invitation to a Banquet is a lively and groundbreaking tribute to the pleasures and mysteries of Chinese cuisine.

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