Living in Vietnam for four years in the 1990s, Seattle native Kim Fay fell in love with the romantic landscapes, the rich culture, and the uninhibited warmth of the people. A decade later, she grew hungry for more. Inspired by the dream of learning to make a Vietnamese meal for her friends and family in America, Kim returned to Vietnam and embarked on an unforgettable five-week culinary journey from Hanoi to Saigon.
Joined by her sister and best Vietnamese girlfriend, Kim set off to taste as much as possible while exploring rituals and traditions, street cafés and haute cuisine, famine and feast, and Communism and the legacy of war. Together, the three women discovered a society shaped by its ever-changing relationship with food. Every encounter serves up an enticing morsel, from uncovering the secret world of ragu in the French hill town of Dalat to bonding with the Julia Child of Vietnam in Saigon. Epicures and culture buffs will delight in markets, restaurants, farms, fisheries, and cooking classes as Kim assembles her dream meal and shares recipes such as banana flower salad and clay pot fish. Examining how we eat reflects who we are as individuals and as communities, Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam offers a feast for armchair gourmets, as well as a colorful guide for travelers hungering for their next adventure.
"In reading Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, I was struck by the fact that it was everything that Eat, Pray, Love was not. It was lovingly written by a young woman whose depth of understanding and deep appreciation of another culture and its culinary delights teases the reader to follow her on her odyssey to a country she knows well." - Louisville Courier-Journal
For her blog, Chopstick Cinema
, my friend and colleague Celeste Heiter (author of The Sushi Book
and editor of To Japan With Love
) made this wonderful step-by-step instructional video for my clay pot fish recipe from Communion
. The recipe can be found on my blog, Serve It Forth