Read 5088397 times
Connect me to:
The Land of the Five Flavors
by: Thomas O. Hollmann
New York City NY:
Columbia University Press 2014, Hardbound
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2018 Issue: 25(4) page(s): 20
a breadth of
clear, and easily
covers the earliest empires and continues on to when
published with photos, sketches, even recipes that allow
tasting them mentally.
The author, is a China scholar, and in this volume follows
food culture from burial rituals to today’s fast food
deftly and deliciously. Through them, one gets a sense
of China’s regions, inventions, crops, spices, herbs, even
many of its superstitions. This is a fascinating view of
these and more, and it is a great source of this country’s
culinary arts and practices.
Carefully translated by Karen Margolis, her talent brings
these eight chapters alive from the first titled: ‘Rice
Doesn’t Rain From Heaven’ to the last called ‘Tavern
of Eternal Happiness’ and the ‘Epilogue.’ After them,
Tables illuminate China’s oil seeds, Allium vegetables,
harvest yields, fruits, mammals, birds, fish, and plants.
These latter items include their botanical names. They
end with a list of China’s ethnic minorities, where most
of each of them live, and their population data in 2000.
This book ends with Western, Japanese, and Chinese
bibliographic sources in its three-language fifteen-page
bibliography; a valuable ending before the sixteen-page
two-column detailed Index. We were amazed at the
breadth of information in its pages. Would that other
authors provided these detailed sources with succinct
text, as this one does.