Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts

chinese fairy tale feasts

Chinese fairy tale feasts, a literary cookbook.

Yee, Paul, Chan, Judy, & Wang, Shaoli (2014). Chinese fairy tale feasts, a literary cookbook. Vancouver, London: Tradewind Books. ISBN 978-1-896580-68-5

This is a gorgeous little book – beautifully illustrated by Shaoli Wang, with recipes by Judy Chan and stories by Paul Yee. It contains 13 chapters, each beginning with a  story either written or adapted by Paul Yee. Each story involves food or cooking in some way and is followed by brief interpretive notes on the origin of story and its main messages. Judy Chan includes a related recipe with notes on how the recipe relates to her family practices and the story.

This is a fabulous book to work through with children. It inspires intergenerational participation – grandparent with grandchild, parent with child, teacher with a class of students. There is everything one needs – a story to read, notes for discussion, clearly written equipment and ingredient lists and instructions for making the recipe – and much to learn for all ages! The illustrations are vivid and support the stories and recipes.

This book provides a model for cross-cultural learning through food. Paul Yee explains the Chinese origin of the various stories and their themes, and links them to stories from other cultures when possible. The recipes become food for thought as well as for body nourishment. It is worth noting this is an award winning book (2015 Gourmand Award for Best Canadian Cookbook) that should enjoy widespread classroom and home use.  – Linda Peterat