Armchair travelers have always journeyed through the pages of a book, but a new cookbook by husband-and-wife team Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid brings the concept to life, meals included. The Los Angeles Times calls it “a rare cookbook with the heart of a travelogue” and compares it to a Lonely Planet guide with recipes.

Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China
is the couple’s sixth book (others include Mangoes & Curry Leaves and the sublime Hot Sour Salty Sweet). According to Amy Scattergood’s review in the Times, “It reads like a tattered food diary, an expat travel journal, a far-flung love story, a Graham Greene novel unbound and reassembled with recipes.” The dishes are from various regions of China, but the focus is on the outlying areas away from urban centers, which are increasingly modernized and Westernized.

If you can’t swing the plane ticket to China, this might just be the next best thing.

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