You too may start to salivate halfway through the introduction to Dunlop's magnificent Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking. Perhaps it begins when she explains xian, "one of the most beautiful words in the Chinese culinary language." It describes an entire range of flavor and sensation, "the indefinable, delicious taste of fresh meat, poultry, and seafood, the scrumptious flavors of a pure chicken soup..." Before you know it you are running headlong into a world of 23 distinct flavors and 56 cooking methods (they are all listed at the end of the book). Sichuan is the place where "barbarian peppers" met up with a natural cornucopia and a literary cooking tradition stretching back to the fifth century A.D. Innovation with cooking technique and new and challenging ingredients remains a hallmark of Sichuan. After describing basic cutting skills and cooking techniques, Dunlop presents her recipes in chapters that include "Noodles, Dumplings, and Other Street Treats"; "Appetizers"; "Meat"; "Poultry"; "Fish"; "Vegetables and Bean Curd"; "Stocks and Soup"; "Sweet Dishes"; and "Hotpot." Yes, you will find Gong Bao (Kung Pao) Chicken with Peanuts--Gong Bao Ji Ding. It's named after a late 19th-century governor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen, which brought on the wrath of the Cultural Revolution for its imperial associations. Until rehabilitation, the dish was called "fast-fried chicken cubes" or "chicken cubes with seared chilies."
Land of Plenty is literary food writing at its best, as well as a marvelous invitation to new skills and flavors for the home cook. Read it. Cook it. Eat it. And take pleasure in the emerging career of Fuschia Dunlop, a big new voice in the world of food. --Schuyler Ingle
The recipes are so easy to follow.
For vegetarians, I'd recommend borrowing this from the library or friend and copying down the dozen or so relevant recipes (after reading the entire book of course).
I bought this book because I wanted a specialist Sichuan cookery book and because it was already highly recommended.
I absolutely love this cookbook! When my boyfriend requested I expand my love of cooking to include, specifically, Sichuan cuisine I was a bit nervous. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Susan Van Winkle
This book fulfills our wish to prepare authentic (not Chinese American) Chinese food at home. My wife is a great cook (and I'm a pretty good helper) and we found these recipes... Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. C. Beadles
This is my absolute favorite Chinese cookbook, and I have now owned it for about 5 years.
I was born in China, grew up eating delicious home cooked dishes my mom made,... Read more
This book has recipes for most of the amazing dishes I've tried at our local Sichuan restaurant. If you enjoy Sichuan food (the real stuff, from an authentic restaurant, swimming... Read morePublished 4 months ago by srm20
I absolutely love sichuan food, but there aren't that many authentic cookbooks. Enter Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty - this book is AMAZING! Read morePublished 5 months ago by JH
I am a native of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province where Fuchsia Dunlop received the culinary training that inspired this cookbook. Read morePublished 6 months ago by dee doo
There are different regions in China and I've been trying to show people how regionally cooking is different. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Suzy