|Best of The Internet Awards|
(George S. Patton, American military leader)
This year, I've decided to pay a holiday tribute to my favorite sites covering Chinese cuisine on the Internet. For various reasons, most of the Internet sites mentioned below aren't included on my subject pages. Nonetheless, they are all great sites that are well worth visiting.
And the winners are....
Site for Authentic Recipes (in English):
"Nice Chinese Food" - The author does an excellent job of providing authentic recipes that aren't easy to find elsewhere on the Internet. Each recipe includes the Mandarin pronunciation and a photo. Ingredient amounts are only given in metric, and are sometimes less precise than would be found in a cookbook (one recipe calls for two pieces of tomato), but this is a site worth visiting.
Best Up and Coming Site:
The Edible Journey Through China - If you've ever seen the film Little Man Tate, you'll be familiar with "Odyssey of the Mind," an annual competition for gifted children. Thinkquest is basically an online version, and this site was designed by three teenagers as their entry in this year's competition. "The Edible Journey Through China," does an excellent of job of covering all the basics of Chinese cuisine, from regional cooking styles to how to use chopsticks. The design is impressive - well organized and easy to follow. It also makes excellent use of graphic images to demonstrate techniques such as using a cleaver. I was not at all surprised when the website won an honorable mention (although I must confess to being just a little biased since I am one of the sources listed). Congratulations!
Chinese Fortune Calendar Online - Ever wonder how the Chinese use astrology and the lunar calendar in everyday life? Allen Tsai has put together a great resource that explores these facets of Chinese fortune-telling. Anyone wanting to know more about the subject will find articles explaining five elements theory and how the Chinese calendar works. But Tsai doesn't leave out the fun stuff - you can learn which date to choose for your wedding, which twenty years will be your luckiest, or check out the Chinese farmer's almanac.
And what does all this have to do with Chinese cuisine? For one thing, each year Tsai makes up a calendar with the dates of traditional Chinese holidays - many of which are celebrated with a specific festive food. Besides, in Chinese culture it's hard to find a social occasion where food doesn't play a major role.
Cyber Kuali - Based in Malaysia, the focus is on Asian cuisine in general. Thus you'll find an article with recipes for Christmas dinner that includes a chicken seasoned with five-spice powder, along with thai-style stir-fried crabs. Taken together, the articles provide an interesting perspective on how much Chinese cuisine has influenced the cuisines of other countries in South-east Asia.