*Disclaimer: This book was sent to See, Shop, Love! via Blogging for Books.
If you're not familiar with dim sum, it's a Chinese cuisine involving lots of little dishes. It's similar to tapas in Spain. It usually consists of bite-sized portions of things like dumplings, rolls, and steamed buns. There are lots of different dim sum dishes, and as I said before, I'm not familiar with all of them. If you're new to Chinese cuisine it can be intimidating reading the menus, which is where The Dim Sum Field Guide comes in.
This book is so cute! It's small, about 5 x 5", so you could easily slip it into your purse or inconspicuously carry it into a restaurant. It has descriptions and hand-drawn illustrations of more than 70 types of dim sum, and they're categorized by savory and sweet (and broken down further into subcategories like baked, steamed, fried, etc.).
This book is incredibly informative. They hand drawn illustrations are extremely detailed, so even if you don't know the names of what you want, you can easily identify them through these pictures. The pages contain the most common names of each dish, along with other spellings and pronunciations.
When I think of a field guide, I think of a nature book. Take a field guide for birds, for instance. It should have a picture of the bird, the name of the bird, the scientific name, and information on how to identify it. This book has all of that information, but for food. I think the presentation is so creative! As you can see in the photo above, there's an identification section that describes what the dim sum looks like and provides more information about it, plus more information like basic fillings and different types, or "species."
Looking through this book makes me hungry. It not only gives incredibly detailed information on what each dim sum looks like and is made with, but it also gives background on its origin and history. Even if you're not heading out for dim sum, this book is a fun read that's packed with information.
- The Dim Sum Field Guide is available from Penguin Random House