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TOPICS INCLUDE: XO and Sa Cha Sauces; Testing herbs; A new magazine

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Letters to the Editor

Summer Volume: 1998 Issue: 5(2) page(s): 10

We print as many letters as space allows and do look forward to getting them. Some are edited for publication.

From DOUGLAS WOO of LEE KUM KEE (USA) INC. by fax: We would like to thank you for selecting our XO sauce and Sa Cha sauce to be used in your sauce comparison. This information will be very useful in our R&D Department. You mentioned that the vegetarian BBQ sauce made by AGV was the only product with an actual expiration date. I would like to point out that Lee Kum Kee products do have a: Best Before Date printed on the edge of the cap. You also mentioned that the Bull's Head and Lee Kum Kee barbecue sauce came out best liked. Which Lee Kum Kee sauces are you referring to? The XO sauce, the Sa Cha sauce, or both?
Mr. WOO: Your eagle eye caught an editing error, and we thank you for same. The sentence that explained that the handful plus one of the sauces are, in English, all generically called 'barbecue sauces' was inadvertently omitted. We apologize to you and to our readers. Therefore, the next to last paragraph in Volume 5(1): page 18 would be better said: The taste testers reported a rank order of preference. Summing these, the top and bottom choices are clear, the middle group less so. Bull's Head and Lee Kum Kee's Sa Cha Sauce came out best liked. As to the dating, we thank you for offering sauces and recipes for comparison or tasting. However, we prefer to purchase all products, as our readers must do, to assure that we and they have equal access to the same items. Might add, that when reviewing restaurants, we do so anonymously and we pay the bill, reasons are much the same.

From JILL and DELANY of QUEENS NY: You often comment that herbs are not tested or not enough is known about their adverse effect. Do you not believe in any of them? Doesn't a few thousand years of experience count for anything?
To YOU BOTH and MANY OTHER BELIEVERS: The good news and the bad news needs are that yes, I do believe in herbs as foods, but I am quite careful not to consume any of them in large quantities. Thousands of years versus modern western testing and exposure to the scrutiny of many scientists wins in my book. Do read my article ttitled: Five Foods as Herbs in this issue and learn that these thousands of years tell us that ginkgo in large doses is toxic, that ginseng should not be had with tea or turnips. Presently, there are only a limited number of scientific journal articles, though that should change. A new interdisciplinary journal that plans to focus on foods is about to make its appearance. Edited by Sheldon Hendler, Ph.D. and M.D., we anxiously await the first issue of The Journal of Medicinal Foods, and promise to report on its contents. In the meantime, those with access can visit the publisher on the web and learn more about it: www.liebertpub.com The magazine has an outstanding world-renowned editorial board and their intent, as advertised, is to present rigorous scientific research and the latest on medicinal benefits of such foods as soya, miso, tofu, green tea, as well as on substances they contain. In the meantime, get a copy of Medicinal Herbs by Geng Junying and other materials written as textbooks for students at Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are to be trusted more then much of the anecdotal conflicting lay literature stuffing the shelves of natural food and herbal health stores.

We would just like to thank you for the wonderful book review in the last issue where you wrote about the book we published: The Culinary Chronicle. We are very honored about this long and heavenly article.
Ms. HAUSCH: We often hear from angry authors who think more highly of their books then we do and occasionally from one who appreciates our comments. However, we never before heard from a publisher. Thanks for this first and for the wonderful initial book in the series. We look forward to seeing those that follow. For readers who wrote asking where to get the book, contact Nachum J. Waxman, at Kitchen Arts and Letters, Inc.; 1435 Lexington Avenue; New York NY 10128; phone: (212) 876-5550.

We could not locate your source for the two books titled: Fruit as Medicine and Vegetables as Medicine
TO ALL WHO WROTE: Contact Eastwind Books & Arts, Inc.; 1435A Stockton Street; San Francisco CA 94133; phone (415) 772-5899. Ask for Virginia Jay or John Blanchard; both are great at locating and mailing needed items.

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