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Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
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September 2019: Cultural > Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid -5 stars

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Theresa | 6114 comments On a whim one day I used the search function in my Kindle Library to see if I had any books with the word 'salty' in the title. I needed a book for a reading challenge that had a certain word in the title, 'salty' being one of the options. I like reading books I already own but have not read for such challenges. One of the great features of Kindle search is that in addition to books already in your library (none in this case), it suggests books available to purchase that match. This book was one of those suggestions.

The cover and title immediately grabbed my attention, intriguing me...culinary journey sounded like so much more than another cookbook. I bought it in ebook, and OMG, did it enchant!

Alford and Duguid take you on a cultural journey through both some of the remotest and congested areas of Southeast Asia by following the Mekong from China to Vietnam, all beginning and ending with the food. It is enhanced with gorgeous photos of the land, people and food so that the descriptions of the meals ane markets experienced come to rich life. The recipes are amazing and seem to be well adapted to western product availability and cooking; I marked many to try.

But I also loved the rich descriptions of textiles, villages, homes. I feel like I took this trip and have a far deeper appreciation of what that region's cultures are.

As the authors say in the introduction:

[The book] is ... a cookbook, a photo essay, a journey down a river, and an introduction to one of the world’s great culinary regions. It is also, because so much of the research and travel and recipe work was done with our two sons, Dominic and Tashi, a family tale, a diary. Food and life, we rationalize to ourselves, reflect forever in each other.

I never just read a cookbook cover to cover. This one you absolutely can and should.


message 2: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as good as yours :)


Theresa | 6114 comments Idit wrote: "That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as good as yours :)"


I also came up with Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Sweetbitter when I searched 'bitter' in my Nook library on a similar whim. They did not fit my mood or balance well with other reading, even though I own both already.


message 4: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5352 comments Theresa wrote: "Idit wrote: "That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as good as yours :)"

I also came up with [book:Hotel on ..."


That is a cookbook which has been on my radar for years. Have you tried any of the recipes?

I know Naomi Duguid who is very serious about food and tours the world search for techniques and recipes. I follow her on facebook.


Theresa | 6114 comments Booknblues wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Idit wrote: "That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as good as yours :)"

I also came up with..."


Not yet but Toronto foodie friends have and say they are terrific. In fact one refers to Naomi as a National Treasure. I was sad to read that the authors divorced in 2009 as their collaboration on this book from 2000 was awesome. I saw they had prior collaborations which I will be eyeing. And Naomi fas a Persian cookbook I will have to consider getting.

Off to stalk Naomi on FB....


message 6: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5352 comments Theresa wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Idit wrote: "That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as good as yours :)"

..."


Thanks to your review, I realized that I had this book on kindle and had forgotten about it. I'm going to read it as you suggested. I do that with cookbooks but don't always include them in my stats.


Theresa | 6114 comments Booknblues wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Idit wrote: "That’s a great find. Glad you enjoyed it
On the same whim I search the library app for sweet and for bitter. My finds were not as goo..."


I read this a bit at a time when my mind was too busy or tired to track plot or complex read, or when bad lighting. It was like taking little trips.


message 8: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4865 comments Onto the TBR!


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