Culinary Excursion Through China
With a solid base of information, including more than 200 recipes from the five major regional Chinese cuisines, Culinary Excursion Through China (SunMedia, Inc.), despite some problems, will serve as an adequate starting point for most home cooks. The recipes are straightforward, the interface attractive, and the provided background information enlightening. We particularly liked the section detailing the different Chinese holidays along with the explanations of the various foods that go with them. But as you dig deeper into the disc, you’ll realize that some key elements are missing. There is no explanation of ingredients, for example. Residents of New York or San Francisco might be able to go to Chinatown to find esoterica like sea cucumbers, but the disc has no advice for the rest of us. Also missing is a glossary, or much information about the various basic ingredients. The program tells you that vinegar is important in Chinese cooking, for example, but offers no explanation of what varieties there are. Toss in a few misspellings and an audio pronunciation button that pronounces Chinese words without any indication of what they mean, and you may decide to order take-out while you leaf through the Joyce Chen Cookbook.
– November 1995