COOK­ING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS: RECIPES AND STO­RIES FROM CHINA’S YUN­NAN PROVINCE

GEORGIA FREEDMAN, KYLE BOOKS, H/B, $55

Cuisine - - REVIEWS -

This is a glo­ri­ous ex­plo­ration into the area of Yun­nan in China. Freedman has trav­elled and lived in the area ex­ten­sively and this densely writ­ten book is full of fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries of the area. The breadth of knowl­edge is ap­par­ent on every page, the writ­ing is en­gag­ing, full of snip­pets and the recipes are invit­ing. I can’t wait to cook the dumpling-like mo­mos, the chicken and chest­nut soup and oys­ter mush­rooms with Sichuan pep­per­corn oil.

The book is ar­ranged by ge­o­graphic re­gions that roughly mir­ror the cul­tur­ally di­verse pop­u­la­tion and in turn the wide di­ver­sity of the cuisines. Given the lim­i­ta­tions of try­ing to doc­u­ment all of the myr­iad pos­si­bil­i­ties, Freedman has given each re­gion a tight fo­cus that show­cases the pre­dom­i­nant flavours and cook­ing styles.

The glos­sary and header notes pro­vide plenty of in­for­ma­tion and sub­sti­tutes but by and large most in­gre­di­ents used would be read­ily avail­able here, and the recipes them­selves are de­cep­tively sim­ple. GINNY GRANT

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