From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Alford and Duguid, authors of the acclaimed Mangoes & Curry Leaves, explore the food and peoples of the outlaying regions of present-day China, historically home to those not ethnically Chinese. Part travel guide and part cookbook, this collection looks at the cultural survival and preservation of food in smaller societies including that of the Tibetan, Mongol, Tuvan and Kirghiz peoples, among others. The authors include vivid color photographs of food, people and places of cultural significance. Recipes are tantalizing and mostly simple, and ingredients are surprisingly easy to find. The book is sectioned by food type rather than ethnicity, covering everything from condiments and seasonings to fish and meats to drinks and sweets. Dishes have the hint of the familiar, such as Oasis Chicken Kebabs, Tibetan Pork and Spinach Stir-Fry, and Market Stall Fresh Tomato Salsa, while others are less common but equally tempting, including Kazakh Pulao, Steamed Tibetan Momos, and Home-style Tajik Nan. Peppered throughout are the authors' personal stories, which provide insight into each culture. A handsome and engaging collection suitable for travelers and cooks alike, this book will delight anyone with an interest in this part of the world.
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About the Author
Jeffrey Alford is a writer and photographer based primarily in northeast Thailand and Cambodia. He plants and harvests rice each year; helps raise frogs and several varieties of fish; and happily struggles along in three languages: Central Thai, Lao Isaan, and Northern Khmer. His forthcoming book, to be published in 2014, is tentatively titled How Pea Cooks: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village. His earlier books, all co-written with Naomi Duguid, are Flatbreads and Flavors;HomeBaking; Seductions of Rice; Hot Sour Salty Sweet; Mangoes and Curry Leaves; and Beyond the Great Wall. Jeffrey is currently developing a series of intensive culinary tours through northeastern Thailand and western Cambodia (the Angkor Wat area) under the name of Heritage Food Thailand.
Naomi Duguid is a writer, photographer, great cook, and intrepid traveler who explores the world through the lens of food. She is a contributing editor of Saveur magazine and writes the bimonthly “Global Pantry” column in Cooking Light. Every winter she conducts an intensive cultural-immersion-through-food course in Chiang Mai, Thailand, called ImmerseThrough, and also guides a food-focused tour to Burma. Duguid is the author of, most recently, Burma: Rivers of Flavor. Her earlier books, all co-written with Jeffrey Alford, are Flatbreads and Flavors;HomeBaking; Seductions of Rice; Hot Sour Salty Sweet; Mangoes and Curry Leaves; and Beyond the Great Wall. Her weekly posts at www.naomiduguid.blogspot.com explore ideas about food and life; she can be reached at naomiduguid.com. Her next project is a book that celebrates Persian culinary traditions, tentatively titled The Persian World.