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Huge Discovery for Chinese-Food Freaks:

At last and up-to-the minute Chinese info source

Think about all the Chinese-food info you get from the mainstream Western media: Do you ever learn anything new? Do you ever get to see anything from a Chinese perspective, rather than a western one?

Now imagine a newsletter, conceived and produced by Chinese people — in English! — that fills you in four times a year on real Chinese food, with recipes, scholarly articles, book reviews of little-known Chinese titles, travel pieces and restaurant finds. You've just imagined the miraculous Flavor & Fortune, a publication of the Institute for the Advancement of the Science & Art of Chinese Cuisine.

Here are some of the stories from recent issues that I've particularly loved, many of them containing info that I simply would not ve able to find anywhere else:

  • the definitive discussion of the differences between Sichuan cuisine and Hunanese cuisine.
  • everything you ever wanted to know about the history, styles, and etiquette of chopsticks
  • a visit to and tasting at a soy sauce factory, with criteria for soy-sauce quality
  • a fascinating piece on the origins of sushi and kimchi, exploring the possibility that they both were born in China
  • the complete story on MSG, including info on the form of it that has been used for eons.
  • an extensive article on food from Shanghai, which defines the cuisine and gives you great restaurant tips for that fantastic food city
  • all about Pu-Er, the most common Chinese-restaurant tea
  • a scoop on the Asian pears grown in New Jersey
  • fascinating reaging on the symbolism of Chinese New Year foods
  • a great piece on "What Is Not Chinese Food"

And here are some of the authentic and delectable recipes:

  • Hunan-Style Fried Fish Tails
  • Steamed Pepper Stuffed with Bean Curd Sheet and Shrimp
  • Spicy Shad Slices, Shanghai-Style
  • Sauteed Scallops and Egg Whites
  • Xian-Style Eggplane and Pomegranate
  • Yunnan Tripe, Pork and Pickled Vegetables
  • Cinnamon-Flavored Spicy Beef
  • Noodles with Green Mustard Leaves and Tofu
  • Yellow and White Mango Delight

All of that is extraordinary—but if the newsletter contained nothing but restaurant tips, it would still be worth its low subscription price (only $19.50 for 4 issues a year, about the same per-issue as The Rosengarten Report). I live in New York, and it was of incomparable value to me to learn about the terrific No. 1 People and People's Chinese Restaurant in Flushing Queens, and about the A&B Lobster King House on the corner of Chatham Square in Manhattan's Chinatown. But Flavor & Fortune is scrupulous about combing the country for great Chinese restaurants in other cities, too. The hunt for authenticity goes on!

Reproduced with permission of David Rosengarten www.davidrosengarten.com.
 
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