THE TASTE OF CHINA by Ken Hom

THE TASTE OF CHINA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This latest production by American TV-cook and prolific cookbook author Hom is a glossy, first-person travelogue complete with more than 200 color photos by Hong Kong photographer Leong Ka Tai (but, alas, no maps). Horn begins with his journey accompanying his mother to their ancestral home near Guangzhou (Canton), but he ranges throughout China, sampling foods in state restaurants (terrible), some of the newer and more promising eateries, and especially in homes, where he has been served delicious simple meals and banquets prepared in primitive home kitchens. His introductory essays on the foods of different regions, mixing history with personal observation, contain much of interest, though his writing here is surprisingly bad--weighed down with stiff, textbook-ish passages and awash in dangling participles (""Served simply with plain rice, I enjoyed excellent Yunnan roast duck""). The recipes--he is especially taken with several bean-curd dishes, though vegetables, duck, and meat are not slighted--may not be as alluring as those in Horn's other recent books (Fragrant Harbor Taste, 1989; Asian Vegetarian Feasts, 1988; Ken Horn's East Meets West Cuisine, 1987); but they are interesting as examples of what the Chinese eat today, and are selected to conform to Western tastes--and many can, as Hom notes, be ""made in minutes.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1990
Publisher: Simon & Schuster