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Invitation to a Banquet: The Story of Chinese Food (Hardback)Fuchsia Dunlop (author)
The Sichuan cuisine expert and award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop delivers a sumptuous volume that explores the history, philosophy and techniques of the ancient and immensely versatile culinary culture of China.
The epic tale of the world's most sophisticated gastronomic culture, told through a banquet of thirty Chinese dishes.
Chinese was the earliest truly global cuisine. When the first Chinese labourers began to sojourn and settle abroad, restaurants appeared in their wake. Yet Chinese food has the curious distinction of being both one of the world's best-loved culinary traditions and one of the least understood. For more than a century, the overwhelming dominance of a simplified form of Cantonese cooking ensured that few foreigners experienced anything of its richness and sophistication - but today that is beginning to change.
In this book, the James Beard Award-winning cook and writer Fuchsia Dunlop explores the history, philosophy and techniques of China's rich and ancient culinary culture. Each chapter examines a classic dish, from mapo tofu to Dongpo pork, knife-scraped noodles to braised pomelo pith, to reveal a singular aspect of Chinese gastronomy, whether it's the importance of the soybean, the lure of exotic ingredients or the history of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Meeting local food producers, chefs, gourmets and home cooks as she tastes her way across the country, Fuchsia invites readers to join her on an unforgettable journey into Chinese food as it is made, cooked, eaten and considered in its homeland.
Weaving together historical scholarship, mouth-watering descriptions of food and on-the-ground research conducted over the course of three decades, Invitation to a Banquet is a lively, landmark tribute to the pleasures and mysteries of Chinese cuisine.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 721 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 42 mm
'A brilliant, passionate and spellbinding tour de force -- Claudia Roden
Fuchsia Dunlop is one of the world's best writers on Chinese food. This book is ample proof of that. Each chapter becomes a course, written in her usual erudite manner but entertaining and informative at the same time. I found the book irresistible, addicting and mouth-watering. If you love Chinese food then you must accept the invitation to her banquet!' - Ken Hom
'There are cooks who write and writers who cook, but very few succeed in blending both arts to perfection in the way Fuchsia Dunlop does. The flavours arising from these pages are sprinkled with insight and experience, its narrative is infused with anecdote and historical depth. This book is the perfect dish for anyone curious about the story of Chinese cuisine and a joy for those among us simply in need of food for thought' - Professor Roel Sterckx
'Fuchsia understands Chinese cuisine better than any other foreigner I know' - Chen Xiaoqing
'How the scales fall away from the eyes reading this masterpiece. Invitation to a Banquet enthrals as it enlightens as it delights. Fuchsia Dunlop has a way with words and cooking quite unique and mesmerising. I have had to put the book down only out of necessity and wish only that instead of mounting a bicycle headed to work, I had boarded a train bound for China, book in hand, with a blanket, chopsticks and a hamper brimming with dishes prepared by Fuchsia' - Jeremy Lee
'One of our very finest chroniclers of food cultures, I want to read everything Fuchsia Dunlop writes' - Caroline Eden
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