Food and Tippling
New books that share ancient secrets of flavorful cooking
Yuan Mei was a poet of 18th-century China who set out to learn the flavor of soy sauce made in the heat of summer, and sesame oil made from roasted or raw seeds. The book he drew from his excursions became a classic, Recipes From the Garden of Contentment, but it was never translated into English—until now. Karen Christensen, publisher of Berkshire Publishing in Great Barrington, has announced three books coming out soon, all with food at their core.
In Asian Cuisines: Food Culture From East Asia to Turkey and Afghanistan (released April 25) international food writers E.N. Anderson, Paul Buell, and Williams College professor emerita Darra Goldstein, editor in chief of Gastronomica, search out flavors from the Mediterranean coast of Istanbul to the East China Sea.
And Ray Oldenburg, bestselling author of The Great Good Place, celebrates The Joy of Tippling (to be released in June) sharing a drink with friends.
Yuan Mei also enjoyed wine in good company. His Garden of Contentment (in English, available June 21) was not meant for chefs, Christiansen says, but for the people he invited to his table. He often found his recipes in conversations—in his friends’ kitchens, in Buddhist temples, and in his own garden.