Fuchsia Dunlop’s Chinese Food Tour | Conversations with Tyler

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COWEN: Now, I’ll just start in on the questionswhile our guests eat, and they will later on become the questioners themselves.

Let me start with this idea of a food tour.

Food tours are more and more popular today.

People will go to Mexico, to France, Italy,even Thailand, but the China food tour is not always so popular with Americans or Westerners.

If you were to try to sell someone on a versionof a 12-day China food tour, what would your case for that sound like? DUNLOP: China has the world’s preeminentcuisine, absolutely unparalleled in its diversity and its sophistication.

You can find practically everything you couldpossibly desire in terms of food in China.

From exquisite banquet cookery, exciting streetfood, bold spicy flavors, honest farmhouse cooking, delicate soups, just everything,apart perhaps from cheese, although they do actually have a couple of kinds of cheese[laughs] in Yunnan province.

Also, because China is such a food-orientatedculture, and it has been since the beginnings of history, that if you want to understandChina, almost more than anywhere else, food is a really good window into the culture,into the way people live, into history, everything.

COWEN: Twelve days, give us a quick itinerary.

Where should you go? DUNLOP: You could look at the greatest hits,say, the four great cuisines you perhaps want to cover.

You might go to Beijing to taste some imperialfood, Shandong cooking, the wonderful wheat foods of the north.

Pastas, dumplings, breads, this is the wheat-eatingpart of China.

COWEN: Three cities, name them.

DUNLOP: Three cities? COWEN: Twelve days, I’m not going to giveyou 14.

What are they? DUNLOP: [laughs] Three cities.

Beijing, Chengdu, and Hangzhou.