I feel like I've just found a diamond in the haystack of new cooking titles. The recipes are really fresh and simple, and great if you love Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Cambodian food, but totally different at the same time. I loved reading the story of this woman who hits the road (Burma/Myanmar - no less!) to escape her life in a sense - if you like Elizabeth Gilbert - you'll like this. She lands in this strange land, is hosted for dinner by a local, and falls in love with the food. She finds a bookstore and asks the elderly bookseller for a cookbook in English; he tells her that there aren't any - that she should write one. Amazingly, she takes up the challenge, and travels around the countryside, visiting street stalls and village kitchens, making friends and taking notes. The people she gets to know are thrilled to share their recipes with her and have them written down. I'm just amazed that someone can have such a novel experience today and contribute something as yet unknown - many of these recipes are passed on from generation to generation, not actually recorded. I also love the photos of everyday life throughout the book that the author took along the way.
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This is not a true sense of review. The book is so charming, I showed it to my true native Burmese friend. She enjoyed leafing through the book, and mentioned that there is a little mistake in traslation or misinterpretation. "A Taste of Shan", on page 128, under "Spring Onion Fritters" as a sub; 'Chin Baung Kyaw'in Burmese. This should be 'Kyet Thun Meik Kyaw', in stead of 'Chin Baung Kyaw'. This may not be a grave mistake for all the non native Burmese speakers or readers, I would like to mention it to the author as well as to the editor of the book, for accuracy per se. I enjoyed it throughly. Thank you.