food memoir.

i read a lot about food, food politics, agricultural policy, food history. shocking, i am sure.

this week, i read shark's fin and sichuan pepper by fuschia dunlop. (and, by this week, i mean, 3 days.) i tend not to review all of these books and articles and essays. i want to tell you, though, that this book was so special. dunlop begins in the sichuan province, in chengdu. luckily, there is a map in the front of the book; i had to repeatedly reference it. the food there is spicy, oil, crunchy, full of items americans tend to look down upon: intestines, bugs, eyeballs, and the like.

it was a magical read. i was ready to eat all of it. an omnivore was lurking inside of me. i felt crazy and i could not stop reading through the positive qualities of msg, of mao tse-tung's favorite dishes, of the stories of kitchens and street food. dunlop also is the first foreigner to attend the region's top cooking school. she eventually travels to hunan and ends the memoir with an unfortunate discussion on the perils of chinese food products today.

but, i am ready to eat something outside my comfort zone.
well, maybe.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

that's funny, ashley. i read the same book and was ready to become a vegetarian. absolutely riveting, but nauseating. i love that you might want to eat frazzled fire-exploded pig's kidneys cut into phoenix tails, and that I might pass that up in lieu of a banana.


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