Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook

ChineseFairyTaleFeasts.jpgA foreword by Jane Yolen introduces this title, which, like Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts (2013) carries on the tradition of Yolen’s original Fairy Tale Feasts book (2006). Excerpt:

Why food? Because food is an all-powerful motivator. Without it, we cannot live; with it we are productive, we have power, we thrive…. The connection between food and stories is profound and clear. Both are infinitely changeable, suiting the needs of the maker and the consumer. 

Jane’s foreword is followed by a note from the cook, Judy Chan, inviting adjustment and exploration and also reminding the reader that young aspiring clocks need adult supervision in the kitchen.

Shaoli Wang‘s illustrations brighten the pages from endpapers onward, adding lightness, detail, and humor to the stories.

Paul Yee‘s stories are delightful, funny, and thought-provoking, each followed by an author’s note and a related Chinese proverb. “Strech and Fold, Stretch and Fold” is an origin tale for noodles. “The Schoolmaster’s Autumn Festival,” a Chinese opera retelling, is a tale of generosity and sweet potatoes with a note on the global travel of this root vegetable in ancient times.  “Steamed Bread and Salt” is a cautionary tale about greed and the salt in the sea. The companion recipes are redolent with watercress and spring onion, mushrooms and garlic and spices. A powerful motivator indeed.

From Crocodile Books/Interlink. Review copy received from the publisher.