I've been flipping through the Wei-chuan "Chinese Snacks" book and noticed that many of the recipes call for "pork fat". What kind of ingredient is this? What's purpose does it serve in the recipe? Is there a substitute that can be found at well-stocked western supermarkets?
( I could probably ask for it at my local mom & pop Chinese grocer, but their freezer cases are a little dark & scary :-P )
Also, many of the dimsum and Chinese bakery recipes involve lots of folding & other topological magic that's hard for me to work out from still photos and terse prose. Videos would work much better for me. In terms of Chinese-specific videos, looks like YouTube clips are the best bet, but will have to piece together some playlists. Are there DVDs for other cuisines (e.g., western pastries?) that I should take a look at for crosstraining?