Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: Feeding the Dragon

My fourth grade teacher had spent her summer break traveling through China. It was fresh in her mind and she talked incessantly about it. My classmates and I all rolled our eyes as she would begin yet another sentence with, "In China...". Truthfully, I'm sure we all learned quite a bit about China that year. And looking back, I can now appreciate how neat it was for her to spend her vacation in such an unlikely location. Anyway, that was sort of my introduction to Chinese culture, and I suppose it planted a seed of interest in my mind.

A few years ago, my mother-in-law spent some time traveling through China while her husband was there on a business trip. Every couple days she would send me emails describing her latest adventures. When she came home, I pored over her pictures with her and listened to her stories and started to think that China sounded like a pretty cool place to visit. She described it as a trip of a lifetime, and from the sound of it, I'd have to agree with her.

When I was given the opportunity to read and review  "Feeding the Dragon" by Mary Kate Tate and Nate Tate, a brother and sister who had traveled through China together, I was intrigued. On the cover, it says, "A culinary travelogue through China with recipes," and that's exactly what this beautiful book is. The book is filled with gorgeous photographs taken by the pair as they journeyed through several Chinese provinces, searching for the perfect recipes to define each province.

Each of the more than 100 recipes included in "Feeding the Dragon" has clear directions and ingredients that can, in most cases, be found fairly easily in the U.S. There is also a list of basic Chinese cooking equipment and directions for doing things like using chopsticks and folding dumplings.

If you love Chinese food, you need this book. If you need a Christmas gift for someone who enjoys cooking, this is it. Right now it's selling for just $16.44 on Amazon (you can click on the picture above to order it now!), and this colorful, glossy-paged book is worth every penny. I'm not sure what recipe I'm going to try to make first. Maybe Danta Vanilla Custard Tarts, or Naan Flatbread, or perhaps some simple Hand-Torn Noodles. My stomach was growling as I was reading "Feeding the Dragon," and I thoroughly enjoyed the many travel journal anecdotes about each province covered in the book. While the internet is a gold mine for recipes, there is nothing like holding a book in my hands, and having it readily available on my kitchen shelf anytime I want to make one of its culinary delights. This is one I'm thrilled to add to my collection, and I highly recommend that you do the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the custard tarts. They're called don tots in Cantonese. I craved them during pregnancy #1!