Montag, 1. Oktober 2012

The one where the theme is revealed: MoFo Book Challenge #1: Letters Back to Ancient China

If there is one thing that has always been part of my life it is books, I have always been the kind of girl that rather spends its time in a librabry than a club. In fact there is nothing I take more inspiration from and definitely nothing that tells more about my personality than the books I love. I am quite sure that the books I read also reflect on my cooking.
This is what this year's MoFo will be about: Creating dishes for books, their authors, characters, specialties,... I will try to use the inspiration they give me, some posts will be quite literally others might not have an obvious connection.
I hope you will join my journey through the last centuries and don't forget to tell me about YOUR favourite books!

Unfortunately Herbert Rosendorfer, the author of my first book, died a few days ago in Bozen, Italy. He was one of the most brilliant Bavarian writers: ironic and smart and his dead is a big loss for literature. 
I really thought about skipping this post, because it just did not feel right, to write about an author that died a few days ago, but instead I decided to dedicate my first post to him and I hope he would have liked it.

When I thought about the books that I wanted to create dishes for "Letters Back to Ancient China" (Herbert Rosendorfer) quickly came to my mind. Maybe because I lived in Munich for so long and know all the settings. But let us take a quick look at the content:
A 10th century Mandarin travels through time and space to 1980's Munich and finds himself confronted with strange habits, different people and machines. He shares these experiences by writing letters to his friend back home, complaining and wondering about the long nosed and round eyed people he meets.
This book offers a funny closer look on "our" modern society, how our life is affected by progress and is a humorous and thoughtful read, which I highly recommend. 

"My dearest friend, Two more days have passed, days during which, as always, I have been subjected to new, astonishing, strange and inexplicable experiences. However, for the moment I will continue with my description of the events immediately following my arrival. The street I told you about, the one I wanted to cross, was an avenue. On either side of the cobbled carriageway is a wretched, neglected strip of grass. The stones, too, have been set in the road in a very slipshod manner, making it pretty bumpy. If the Exalted Son of Heaven had driven along this street just once, he would immediately have had the mandarin in charge of road construction beheaded. In the strips of grass there are ugly, unkempt trees growing."

I guess my two way chopsticks were made for this dish

I started to think about a dish that would delight Mr. Li and his Bavarian friend - something that makes clear that the differences might seem obvious but the similarities are so, too. Soon I realized that there are many products that are typical for Bavarian and for Chinese food: dumplings, white cabbage, beer, smoked stuff,... and so I came up with this combination:

I created dumplings which are "Chinese" on the outside (as they are made from glutinous rice flour) and "Bavarian" on the inside (with sauerkraut, plums, red wine and smoked tofu). Surprisingly this works perfectly well: the dark beer sauce adds richness to the sweet&sour filling and consorts with the subtle rice taste of the dumpling. Delicious.

Ancient China - Bavaria- Dumplings with Dark Beer Sauce:


  1. Uuuuh die sehen verdammt lecker aus.
    Alles Liebe,
    Nora ^.x.^

  2. Great idea! I'm really looking forward to your recipes and the books they were inspired by. I'm so much a reader myself :)


    1. This theme makes a connection between my two big loves: cooking and reading, I hope my posts will entertain you as well :)

  3. Ich find deine Idee, Gerichte zu Büchern bzw. Autoren zu entwickeln echt genial und freu mich schon auf die restlichen MoFo-Posts :)
    Bin schon gespannt, was da noch so für Bücher kommen und das erste Gericht finde ich auch schon verdammt genial.. Chinesisch außen und bayrisch innen :D

    (I really like your idea to create dishes which are inspired by a specific book or author and I'm so looking forward to the other posts!
    Can't wait to see the other books/dishes and the first one has already been pretty awesome.. Chinese in the outside and bavarian on the inside :D)

    1. Ich liebe das Thema jetzt schon :)

      Danke dir fürs Kompliment! :)

  4. Really great start! I love the mix of being inspired by books and dishes and am looking forward to your next posts!


  5. An interesting dish and theme! I like it.

  6. Can I just awesome! I'm an avid reader myself (I have my own library in my house) and I love food. I never thought of pairing the two together. I am very excited to follow your blog!

    1. Me too, me too! In fact I grew up in kind of a library (my parents would just call it "our house" everyone else "I've never seen so many books in my entire life")

      I guess reading affects my eating habits, just like Bollywood movies make me crave Indian food.


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