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Cookery and Culture Books

by Jacqueline M. Newman


Summer Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(3) page(s): 20, 21, 22,23,24, and 38

On Our Bookshelves: This issue looks at cookery and culture volumes. Cookbooks and cultural materials provide depth about the longest continuous food-culture in the world, that of the Chinese. In cookbooks, there can be minimal historic, sociologic, and/or other background information or considerable cultural materials along with the recipes. In books without recipes or those with very few, food preparations and information are not obvious, but understandings about the science and art of Chinese cuisine do sneak in providing lots of food-related information.

Almost everything impacts things that go into the mouth. Therefore, devour all of these books and consider giving them to self and others as holiday gifts.

Read about each of them individually, in the Book Reviews section of this web site. The cookbooks reviewed are titled:

New Asian Cuisine by Wendy Chan and Grace Niwa,
Bird's Nest: Recikpes for Pregnant Women and Different Age Groups by Jungang Hou and Shufang Zeng,
Nonya Flavours by Julie Wong, its editor,
Healthy Recipes for Hair & Lips by Ke-er Zhang, and
Susanna Foo Fresh Inspiration by Susanna Foo.

The other books, cultural, worthy of your attention are below. Some have very short reviews, perhaps a short paragraph. These are in response to readers comments such as: "Your non-cook-book reviews are wonderful ways to learn about the Chinese; I would never have known to read them" or "Keep on reviewing direct and indirectly related books about the Chinese and their food," and "Do print more reviews about cookbooks and their tangential relatives."

So read the cultural books reviewed individually, as well. They are titled:

Cornbread and Dim Sum by Jacqueline Annette Sue,
Chinese America by Peter Kwong and Dusanka Mišèeviæ,
Chinese American: Stereotype and Reality by Birgit Zinzius,
Cuisine and Culture by Linda Civitello,
Eat Everything Before You Die by Jeffrey Paul Chan, and
The Chopsticks-Fork Principle by Cathy Bean Bao.

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