Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Our April/May Selection: Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, a Memoir by Fuchsia Dunlop.

Almost every time I *talk* about great foodie books with online friends at my favorite book sites, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop comes up as a "must read." I have had it on my (ginormous) TBR list for ages, I snapped up a Kindle Deal for it several months ago, and in order to get myself to finally read it, I made it our April/May selection.

Fuchsia Dunlop is a British cook and food writer who specializes in Chinese cuisine. She reads, writes and speaks Chinese and was the first Westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. Dunlop has spent years exploring China and its food and has written four award-winning cookbooks focused on Chinese cooking; Land of Plenty (originally published as Sichuan Cookery in the U.K.), Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Every Grain of Rice, and Land of Fish and Rice. She also has a website

Published in 2008, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper chronicles her experiences cooking and eating in China. From the book blurb:
An extraordinary memoir of an Englishwoman’s attempt to immerse herself in Chinese food and Chinese culinary culture. In the course of her decade-long journey, Fuchsia undergoes an apprenticeship at a Sichuanese cooking school, where she is the only foreign student in a class of nearly fifty young Chinese men; attempts, hilariously, to persuade Chinese people that ‘Western food’ is neither ‘simple’ nor ‘bland’; and samples a multitude of exotic ingredients, including sea cucumber, civet cat, scorpion, rabbit-heads and the ovarian fat of the snow frog.
Cook the Books hasn't traveled to China in our reading in quite a while and I am looking forward to seeing the dishes that this book inspires--especially if anyone attempts a dish of scorpion, sea cucumber and/or snow frog. ;-)

The deadline for this selection is Thursday, May 31, 2018

Remember that anyone can participate in Cook the Books. To join in the fun, just pick up a copy of the selection from your local bookstore or library, take inspiration from said reading, cook and post an inspired dish. New participants are always welcome! (Leave a comment here or check out our Guidelines page if you have any questions.

Happy reading and cooking!
Deb, Kahakai Kitchen


Camilla M. Mann said...

Deb, I just emailed you my post! Thanks for picking this.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Got it! Thanks Camilla! :-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

That was quite a rollercoaster ride!

Alicia Foodycat said... here's mine!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thanks Alicia! It's nice to have you join in again. ;-)

Simona Carini said...

Here is my contribution
The book got me to try Sichuan pepper: what a great spice!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thanks Simona! ;-)

Claudia said...

My recipe and post is now up:

Deb in Hawaii said...

Mahalo Claudia--I'm off to take a look. ;-)

Delaware Girl Eats said...

Well here I am leaving the comment with my post. Better than trying to email I guess. I love hot & spicy so made the Sichuan noodles - yum! Delaware Girl Eats, and here is the link to my post


Amy said...

Thanks for hosting - here's my recipe!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thank you Cathy and Amy!