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Silk Road, The: The Complete Chinese Cookbook
Hamlyn, an imprint of Reed Consumer Books, Ltd. 1997, Hardbound
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2003 Issue: 10(2) page(s): 21 and 22
Though not new, this is the only other cookbook, to date, that we used to own that claims to and does feature Chinese foods on the Silk Road. This is a large coffee table variety with large type. It is loaded with recipes from soups and appetizers to desserts, dim sum, and breads and pancakes.
While the recipes are many, and Chinese, we wonder where silk-roaders found crabs and rainbow trout. We highlight this book because of the article about the silk road in this issue but do advise that it is an example of diminishing trust in cookbooks. The recipes, though tasty, lack authenticity if the Lion's Head Casserole is a case in point. It deep-fries the lean twice-ground pork balls before simmering them for but fifteen to twenty minutes.
Clearly, a book with no address to contact the publisher does leave one wonder as one wanders its Silk Road. The flyleaf offers 'a visual and culinary feast,' and 'a journey again and again into the unique world revealed within its pages.' Readers deserve more, authentic or not, from the Hamlyn folk who only identify themselves in a tiny box on the bottom edge of the thin edge of the cover, and on the title verso-page. That reverse side of the title page says: ‘by Hamlyn an imprint of Reed Consumer Books Limited.' Guess that is better than nothing; or is it?