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TOPICS INCLUDE: Free copies; Cookbook reviews; Chinese vegetarians; Gingko trees
Letters to the Editor
Fall Volume: 1997 Issue: 4(3) page(s): 10
GUS from FREDONIA asks:
Do you send out free sample copies? I have two friends that live far from me and while I think they’d love to see my copies, I do not want to part with them and I think they are potential subscribers.
GUS: As you well know, we would go broke if we sent free copies to each person each of our subscribers knows. Our policy is to charge $10.00 for postage and handling per sample issue. Incidentally, that price is for a back issue, too, as available. As to your specific request, we do accommodate subscribers and will send out one copy as a courtesy to what you or other readers deem a hot prospect. And, we thank you for same.
PATRICIA in SAN FRANCISCO wants to know:
Why are there so few cookbook reviews in Flavor and Fortune when there are so many Chinese cookbooks to evaluate, new and old?
This issue has tried to mend fences with you and others with three reviews, two new and one reviewed from another perspective. In future issues, we will take heed and look at some golden oldies. They may only be accessible from your library, from interlibrary loan, sources such as on the world-wide web from sites such as www.amazon.com or from places such as used book stores.
MANUELA in NEWARK asks for a clarification:
I am very confused and maybe you can clarify for me what really is a Chinese vegetarian?
MANUELA: It is my understanding that a vegetarian is a vegetarian no matter their ethnicity. Let me advise that there are many kinds of vegetarians and if you want to know about Chinese Buddhist vegetarians do read Wonona Chang’s article about her sister in this issue titled: A Pure Vegetarian. Her article did not advise, however, that Buddhists do not eat leeks, onions, chives, garlic, or any related foods along with their mainly grain, legume, root, and other vegetable diet. Therefore, Buddhists are a special kind of ‘vegan’ because of these additional food avoidances.
'Vegans' (say vee-gans) never eat animal foods nor do they consume products such as eggs, chees, or animal gelatins. 'Lacto-ovo vegetarians' eat as do vegans but they add eggs and dairy to their diets. There are some lacto-vegetarians and some ovo-vegetarians, each of whom does not eat dairy products or eggs, respectively. Though I have never heard the words ‘pollo-vegetarian’ or 'pesce-vegetarian,' I do know vegetarians who only eat chicken and/or fish along with their vegetarian diet. That, of course, means that one can be lacto-pollo...or pesce-ovo...etc. Some folks call themselves vegetarian but others might call those who rarely eat meat a semi-vegetarian. I think that stretches the concept rather thin, do you?
From ETHEL in BROOKLYN comes the question:
Some months ago Eva Koveos wrote about Gingko. Recently, I heard that it is the world’s oldest living tree providing us the oldest nuts; is that true?
ETHEL: Gingko trees live about three thousand years. I read a volume by Dean and Morgenthaler, that the gingko tree has been in existence for three hundred million years, and that it has been used as a Chinese medicine for several thousand years. My most respected source, Food in China by F.J. Simoons, refers to this tree as a living fossil. He calls it a remnant of geologic times, one on earth long before the appearance of man, and a tree over two thousand million years old; but why quibble. Simoons also says the earliest written reference in Chinese literature dates from the eleventh century CE, during Sung Dynasty times. Simoons remind us that some people refer to the gingko as a sacred tree because it is often planted near Buddhist temples; others strongly disagree and find this association because the gingko nuts are commonly used in Buddhist food preparations for monks or lohans. One last thing, for some folk, the gingko nut has possible ill effects, for some, it can be toxic; so do not eat too many, particularly the first time you taste them.