4 Paws of Crab
4 Paws of Crab (Live Oak Multimedia Ltd.) is a surprise. It’s billed as a “Narrative Thai Cookbook,” but it’s much more than that. Nora Bateson, an American woman, and Bancha “Bird” Leelguagon, a Thai man, both in their late 20s, met in Thailand in 1989 while both were students. Bird worked in a restaurant and often cooked for Nora, and the idea of using food to cross ethnic and cultural boundaries struck them then. This CD-ROM, with its’ delightful mix of ingredients, is the end result of that idea. Bird had explored America and Nora had explored Thailand; the “Mirrors” section offers personal narratives from each about their experiences and impressions, using audio, video, text, and photos. This part of the disc fits neatly beside the “Recipe” section, which fits neatly by the “Happy Market” section – a listing of 64 types of food to use in the recipes – which fits neatly beside the “Time Romp” feature, which provides brief highlights of American and Thai history (going back over 100 years) to put the everything in context and further illuminate the differences between the two cultures. 4 Paws of Crab is an original and highly entertaining effort.
– June 1995, World Culture