I am a huge fan of Lucky Peach, in particular, and food writing, in general, that uses food as a way to seek a greater understanding of the world and all the cultures and people who fill it. What we eat, how we eat it, and the architecture of cooking reveal much about ourselves, both as individuals and as members of a culture. You could have a pretty intense (and lengthy) debate about which culture had the biggest impact on world cuisine, but whatever conclusion you come to, you would have to include Chinese cooking in that debate.
So, I am very excited to announce that Porter Square Books is now carrying The Cleaver Quarterly, an English-language magazine of long form writing about the world of Chinese Cuisine, produced in China. Here’s a sample of what they offer from their manifesto:
At any given moment, more people on Earth are eating Chinese food than anything else. They’re enjoying flavor combinations that have been field-tested by hundreds of generations of peasants and palace chefs, innkeepers and nomads, fisherfolk and soldiers and daughters-in-law and ingenious beggars.
Chinese cuisine is an evolving kaleidoscope of cooking techniques and regional styles. It’s also an eager ambassador, a globalizing and globalized cuisine. As people realize how much more there is to Chinese food beyond the menu at their local takeaway, there’s a hunger to know more – and it’s that hunger that we aim to feed.
In each issue of The Cleaver, we’ll bring together enough voices to fill a banquet table. We can’t wait to get started. There’s so much to talk about, and all of it is fair game: from earthy staples to impossibly refined delicacies, from recipes that are older than the Great Wall to the sweet-and-sour concoctions that have served as so many people’s first exposure to Chinese culture. And we’ll serve it up in the form of long-simmered essays, pungent features, organically sourced reporting, crisp vignettes, and saucy interviews with people who produce, prepare and pine for Chinese food.
We intend to be as tirelessly curious, resourceful and versatile as the cuisine itself. In short, our aim at The Cleaver is to tell you everything you wanted to know but never knew to ask about Chinese food. We’ll leave no wok unturned in order to bring you an irreverent takeaway on the real China.
Order the latest issue of The Cleaver here. We also have copies of Issues 1 & 2 while supplies last. Let us know in the order comments if you'd like a back issue.