Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia

Jeffrey Alford, Author, Naomi Duguid, Author, Naomi Duguid, Joint Author
Jeffrey Alford, Author, Naomi Duguid, Author, Naomi Duguid, Joint Author Artisan $45 (352p) ISBN 978-1-57965-114-5
Reviewed on: 10/09/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Hardcover - 346 pages - 978-0-679-30950-5
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-57965-564-8
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With their usual lan, Alford and Duguid (Flatbreads and Flavors; Seductions of Rice) follow the Mekong River through southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and the Chinese Yunnan region) to bring home a trove of delicious, unusual recipes. Fans of their earlier books may be disappointed to see that their latest volume often revisits earlier themes. Still, there are enough uncommon recipes here to keep even the most inveterate cookbook reader discovering new flavor combinations. (Consider Vietnamese Baked Cinnamon P t and Smoked Fish and Green Mango.) As in their other books, the authors display a specificity and a knowledge of this part of the world that is staggering, as well as a heartfelt reverence for the foods that ""real"" people eat. Vietnamese Beef Ball Soup, for example, is commonly sold by street vendors, and Shan Salad with Cellophane Noodles was picked up from an acquaintance who lives on the Shan State-Thai border. The provenance of each recipe is provided so that readers may clearly distinguish between multifaceted Thai cuisine and French-influenced Vietnamese foods such as Saigon Subs on baguettes. One-page mini-essays on the pair's travel experiences are truly a treat; they cover topics such as fermented fish and the city of Vientiane. With this third book, Alford and Duguid prove that they are fast producing a body of work that commands serious admiration. The hypnotic black-and-white cover photo of a teapot in soft focus will have book buyers lingering in the aisles. (Nov.)
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