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Asian Cuisines

by: Karen Christensen

Great Barrington MA: 2018, Hardbound
ISBN: 97816147203000

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2018 Issue: 25(4) page(s): 21

Subtitled: Food Culture from East Asia to Turkey and Afghanistan, this volume is about the world’s largest continent. Learn about its food history, food culture, and food science. It is subdivided into three geographic regions of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central and West Asia. One of them has eight chapters, the other two each with five chapters. Most are individual cuisines but not the first two; they are about Chinese cuisine and traditional Chinese medicine and diet, respectively. After them, is a final section of five chapters discussing foodstuffs. These are about rice, tofu, tea in East Asia, tea in South Asia, and the Spice Trade; all critical food items in this continent.

The cuisine chapters explore how the foods in these seventeen countries were shaped; including their economics, traditions, rituals, and culinary, as well as their history, geography, religion, and trade. Each chapter includes a local recipe and is authored by a local expert. They are LD Buell, EN. Anderson, D. Goldstein, and many very knowledgeable folk.

After them, two pages are about these contributors, two include other book credits, a two column Glossary using the Latin alphabet with words in their local languages, a four-page two column index.

The cuisine chapters are about China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, India, and South Asia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Each has one recipe enabling tasting its tantalizing cuisine.

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