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Płetwa rekina i syczuański pieprz. Słodko-kwaśny pamiętnik kulinarny z Chin
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Płetwa rekina i syczuański pieprz. Słodko-kwaśny pamiętnik kulinarny z Chin

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,397 ratings  ·  205 reviews
After fifteen years spent exploring China and its food, Fuchsia Dunlop finds herself in an English kitchen, deciding whether to eat a caterpillar she has accidentally cooked in some home-grown vegetables. How can something she has eaten readily in China seem grotesque in England? The question lingers over this "autobiographical food-and-travel classic" (Publishers Weekly).
Paperback, 352 pages
Published 2011 by Świat Książki (first published 2008)
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I loved the premise of this book; travel writer paired with a English born Chinese trained, Sichuanese chef. This is a fun, interesting and easy read but I have to say, I read many parts of this book with my face scrunched. I was able to (barely) get through the "tantalizing" recipes and dishes whose main ingredient was dog, cat, rabbit tongue, deer tail (I can't even fathom that one) chicken feet, goat testicles and rat brains, but it was a bit too much information when the author described the ...more
This book had all the makings of an intriguing quick read: a memoir about China written by a western woman. But in the end I was just as happy to finish it as I was to start it. Dunlop really knows Chinese cuisine and culture, but I feel like I still don't know much about her. When she spent all that time in China, did she date? Did she exerience homesickness? How did she deal with problems when she was so far away from her support system? As she points out, her first trips to China were before ...more
Matthew Christensen
First off I should say that I love eating in China. In fact, that is what I most look forward to when I am heading to China. The variety and quality of the various cuisines in China is truly extraordinary. I really related to this book, not only for the eating adventures, but also because I also was once a young student in China trying to figure things out around me. Dunlop was a young girl studying Chinese in Chengdu when she became distracted by the heady smells and tastes that surrounded her. ...more
I found the first half engrossing. It's filled with loving and knowledgeable detail of both sides of Sichuan food, the cooking and the eating. The author's probably uniquely qualified to do this (in the English-speaking world) having been bewitched by the food to drop her academic studies and become the first Westerner to enroll in the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. She's a fine, unostentatious writer, and seems like a lot of fun.

The second half, detailing her further food adventures in Ch
I've heard Fuchsia Dunlop's work on NPR as a Chinese food expert and checked out her book on Sichuan food from the library. As I was browsing, I noticed she had a memoir too, was interested in how an English woman became an expert in Chinese cooking and cuisine, so I borrowed the memoir too.

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper is not for the faint of heart. As an American, I'm often removed from what exactly meat is. Not so much for the Chinese. Chicken feet, rabbit heads, any and all animal offal, Fu
Joseph Hlebica
I have read only two noteworthy books on China, this and Peter Hessler's amazing Journey Through Time. Notably, both were written by gifted young journalists who cut their teeth in Sichuan Province. I am just a few chapters into Dunlop's engrossing romance on the adventure of discovering China and Sichuan's legendary cuisine. Thusfar, every word she has penned to evoke the sensory explosion of life in Chengdu rings true for me. Like Dunlop, I went to Chengdu ostensibly for academic purposes, but ...more
It has been a long time since I read a memoir that was this good, written by an English woman who truly immersed herself in Chinese culture and gastronomy for over a decade.

Here is her first encounter in the early nineties in Hong Kong with a food that challenged her very sensibilities:

"The preserved duck eggs were served as an hors d'oeuvre in a fashionable Hong Kong restaurant, sliced in half, with ginger-and-vinegar dip. It was my first trip to Asia, and I had rarely seen anything so revolti
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call #: No copies

Madeleine - 3 stars
We read this for the TCL Book Group "Foodies".
I was less than enthused. It's a very good memoir about China from 1990 on but the author seems strangley checked out. Or maybe strangely dialed in to the point of being more Chinese (foreign) than British. For example, she's floored when critics lambast her for publishing her cookbook with the smiling face of Chairman Mao on the pages. She says she understands that Hitler was bad but it wasn't until the negati
Feb 01, 2009 J. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ... omnivores with intent ...
This might have been called A Culinary Tour Of China Counterclockwise, as the author spirals her way out to the corners of the country. Starting in the heartland of Sichuan Province, Dunlop makes her way past thousands of soups, noodles, dumplings and hot chillies toward Hunan Province. From there east to Hong Kong, then north to Beijing and then west to Kashgar in Sinkiang --a real 'Great Game' city if ever there was one- and then a final counterclock swing, down to Fujian Province at the coast ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
There are books about the food of a place, and there are books about culinary adventures. Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper is more of a food ethnography, as the reader experiences the specific food cultures of China along with Fuchsia. She morphs from being scared of gelatinous texture to thinking more like a Chinese person than an English person in regard to food.

"Texture is the last frontier for Westerners learning to appreciate Chinese food. Cross it, and you're really inside. But the way there
Very informative book about Chinese food culture and particularly Sichuanese cuisine. When a Brit discusses Chinese food culture, inevitably a lot of analysis of Anglo (and by extension Anglo-American) food culture comes us. Americans and Brits with our chicken breasts and fish filets…so very different from the Chinese, who value food textures that many people of mainstream UK/US background have not been raised to appreciate in this era! I learned a lot about classical Chinese food culture as we ...more
I'm an epicurian whose planning a trip to Taiwan, and when I came across this book in the store I knew that it was written with me in mind. Fuschia's depiction of the culinary Chinese, integration with history and current events provides the reader with a splendor of knowledge. Her ability to describe Chinese delicacies too, the range of chew factor and textures, prepares the traveler for what's to come. I enjoyed reading this book, and I'm more excited than ever to dive into the dishes that awa ...more
My colleagues and I would read sections of this book outloud to each other during lunch breaks so it has a particularly special meaning. It's fascinating if you don't know much about China like me, it has enough about things other than food to keep me hooked. It flows very well, anecdotes offering up opportunities to look at various issues affecting China. Eating muntjac prompts her to look at Chinese habits of consuming endangered animals, taking her parents to dinner she muses on the various ...more
Sybelle van Erven
I guess I can't really say I read it. I tried though. I have been eating vegetarian for over 2 years now. This book is torture to me (and would have been before then too). Way too much killing going on (of animals). I found the descriptions of life in China not so great either. I quit only one third through the book.
Katherine Hurinovich
В самый подходящий для сего месяц, мне попалось настоящее книжное путешествие - книга Фуксии Данлоп "Суп из акульего плавника" (приведу оригинал, который больше передаёт суть книги - "Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China"). Сначала я подумала, что книгу явно "перепутали полками", и относить её точно стоит в кулинарные опусы, а не в раздел "Путешествия". Читалось скучно, трудно (ох уж эти нагромождения китайского), но по правилу первой трети (если по прочтению тр ...more
Very interesting book. Really great food writing, if you are into that sort of thing, which I am. Also a great crash course in Chinese history and culture, if you are into that sort of thing, which I am.
Monica Williams
I have to say when I first started reading this book I thought I don't know if I will finish it, but it held my attention. Fuchsia Dunlop has always been an adventurous eater having been exposed to a wide variety of flavors in her family's kitchen. As the author says on page 14, "So this is a book about the unexpected wonders of Chinese cuisine. It is also the tale of an English girl who went to China, ate everything, and was sometimes surprised at the consequences". Her experiences are wide ran ...more
This writing sucks and I don't want to read about animal gore man.
Mar 20, 2014 Nina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nina by: Lamar
Shelves: food, memoir, asia
In our era of urbane multiculturalism facilitated by e-media, it’s a rare gift to feel immersed in a culture so foreign that one’s most basic assumptions of reality are undermined. What is tasty? What is nasty? What is environmentally unconscionable? What is laudable progress? Which way is up, which way is down?

Fuchsia Dunlop is a gifted tour guide. She coaxes her reader deep enough into China to appreciate how overwhelmingly different it is, pausing at various shocking exhibits in order to inv
I bought this after seeing Fuchsia speak at Adelaide's Writers Week earlier this year and finding her very engaging.

I have to admit that there were parts of this book I struggled with. I found the wholehearted voracity of the appetites of both the Chinese and Fuchsia somewhat confronting and still find it difficult to come to terms with her easy acceptance of the constant, daily acts of culinary cruelty. I'm not squeamish about where my food comes from (I've spent a day on a feedlot and in an ab
TCL Call #: No copies
We read this for the TCL Book Group "Foodies".
I was less than enthused. It's a very good memoir about China from 1990 on but the author seems strangley checked out. Or maybe strangely dialed in to the point of being more Chinese (foreign) than British. For example, she's floored when critics lambast her for publishing her cookbook with the smiling face of Chairman Mao on the pages. She says she understands that Hitler was bad but it wasn't until the negative press that it o
Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. If there were a 3.5 rating, I'd give it the extra half a star. First off, I think it does a great job of explaining some things about Chinese food that are not immediately obvious to many Westerners. Secondly, while the book reads very similarly to some other "foreigner in China in the 90s" memoirs (in both good and bad ways), I found that my eye-rolling at certain bits stopped fairly quickly as I got more engaged in parts of the story. Also, while she d ...more
An hour after reading Dunlop’s _Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper_, you might be hungry for a more compelling memoir. There are great, detailed recountings of past meals throughout the book, an approach that has a limited charm if you weren’t actually there, and the very heavy sprinkling of transliterations of food names in Chinese terms begins to rankle for the sheer number of them. The recipes, meanwhile, may hold some sort of interest as cultural artifacts (and, indeed, that's how many of them a ...more
This book has 'me' written all over it. So much so that I wish I had bought it rather than borrowed it from the library. I may have to invest. Fuchsia goes abroad under the intention of studying Chinese and having a nice cultural experience. After becoming disillusioned with the Chinese way of teaching language and realising that she's not learning a thing, she chucks in her course and starts hanging out in cafes and restaurants, chatting to the locals about what they are cooking, and eventually ...more
This is one of the times I wish we implemented half-stars in our rating system. As a non-fiction book about food, Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper is above average. It's informative, easy to read, and engaging.

The book took me a while to get into because for the first quarter of the book. I don't think this would be the case if I weren't Chinese and cynical about westerners who write about my mother-land. In the beginning, I was annoyed by the author who seemed an an over-eager, graceless, nosy fo
If I could give it 4.5 I would. (figure I should reserve my 5's !) I really enjoyed this book and 'devoured' it in two days. It is a well written memoir about the first westerner (and woman) to be able to study in a Provincial Sichuan Cooking School. Beyond the wonderful descriptions of dishes and their histories I found that Dunlop was able to weave in poignant and sincere thoughts on being an "expat" (even if only temporarily) and wrote very eloquently about the struggle of straddling two 'hom ...more
About halfway through, and I'm really enjoying this so far. It's a great mixture of chatty, deeply personal memoir; interesting, clear, and informative food writing (including recipes); and insightful observations on Chinese culture and history, from the origins of Buddhist vegetarianism to dining on civet cat during the midst of the SARS scare. I feel like Dunlop really understands Chinese food; there's a chapter about learning the language of food--for example, understanding the prized subtlet ...more
Lena Das
Summary:English girl with conventional upbringing (Oxford though she had various ethnic influences) goes to China (Sichuan province) and falls in love (with food). She get scholarship to study chinese policy on ethnic minorities, starts out learning the language but then gradually stops going to classes and starts hanging out with various cooks and people who cook. Finally, she goes to cooking school.

This book is a book about the love of food. From her early days she talks about how she already
After the first half of this book, I was resigning myself to a book by a chef and eater completely who is head over heals in love with Chinese (specifically Sichuanese) food and culture. The stories all revolved around food wrapped around personal stories experiences. It wasn't mind shattering but it was still good; if you like food. and let's face it, you are probably reading this because you love food (and maybe you love her amazingly wonderful cookbooks). And then it happens - the curveball. ...more
This book almost (almost!) made me become a vegetarian. As much as I enjoy meat, Fuschia Dunlop describes how the Chinese find a use for literally every part of the animal in their cooking--and the more exotic the animal (think the shark's fin or the bear's paw) the better. Even though I wasn't (or haven't) eaten most of the food Fuschia Dunlop described, I felt like I'd gorged on a somewhat excessive and extravagant meal by the time this memoir came to a close. And I wondered what this pale imi ...more
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Fuchsia Dunlop is a cook and food-writer specialising in Chinese cuisine. She is the author of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, an account of her adventures in exploring Chinese food culture, and two critically-acclaimed Chinese cookery books, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, and Sichuan Cookery (published in the US as Land of Plenty).

Fuchsia writes for public
More about Fuchsia Dunlop...
Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking Every Grain Of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A sweet-sour memoir of eating in China

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