Book tidbits and food section round up is on SFist today.
With the world's spotlight on China, Fuchsia Dunlop's new book Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: a Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China hits the spot. Her tales of eating and cooking are enticing. I can't stop thinking about her time in China, and how she pushed her way into kitchens and restaurants, to find out how to cook her favorite dishes. She eventually came to love the taste and texture of chicken feet, and other dishes that take some mental work for a non-native. She feels that learning to appreciate these weird textures are critical to truly enjoying Chinese food. I only wish she had included hints or even stories of love interests. It seemed odd to not know who she liked and loved during her fifteen year journey to China.
Bob Spitz's The Saucier's Apprentice is another interesting travel/cooking/eating memoir. He decides to pack up and learn to really cook after finishing a book on the Beatles and going through a divorce. Smart move. His journey to some of the finest cooking schools in Europe is funny, tasty, and touching. The characters-from fist fighting cooking school guests to hostile women folk are hilarious. Spitz experienced first hand that not every cooking school is worth shelling out money for, but he ultimately finds the recipes and knowledge, along with self acceptance and love, that he is seeking.