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While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya's life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it. As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiva, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls' restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a Peanut Bullter and Jelly sandwich. Bento Box in the Heartland is an insightful and reflective coming-of-age tale. Beautifully written, each chapter is accompanied by a family recipe of mouth-watering Japanese comfort food.
When Linda Furiya decided to move to China with her boyfriend at the age of thirty, she hoped to find romance and ethnic kinship. Expecting common ground with locals as an Asian American, Furiya struggled with her ambition as a food writer in a nation where notions of race and gender are set in stone. During the six years she lived in Beijing and Shanghai, Furiya experienced a wide range of experiences--loneliness, isolation, friendship, and love--tied together by one common theme: food. Ultimately, Furiya surpassed these challenges and found inspiration from the courageous Chinese women who graced her life. The sensuous experience of preparing and eating authentic Chinese cuisine follows Furiya throughout her journey, and ultimately reveals the intimate, nurturing side of the Chinese culture and people. Part insightful memoir, part authentic cookbook, How to Cook a Dragon is a revealing look at race, love, and food in China.
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