The Cleaver and the Butterfly

Andrew Leonard
Sichuan food and globalization
Created 17 Oct 2019
  • "Slavery of the very mildest form."
    20 Sep 2021 • 8 min read
    Frontispiece of Andrew B. Liu’s “Tea War” . “In all cases Capital, which has been considered a primary, has proved to be only a secondary object, and that the primary want in all enterprise is the pra...
  • Capitalism meets its match?
    01 Sep 2021 • 2 min read
    The timing was eerie. Barely 24 hours before the publication of my most recent freelance article, a reported feature for Increment on what mobile software developers in the West could learn from China...
  • Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook
    28 Jun 2021 • 9 min read
    (The following story originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The Cleaver Quarterly, a gloriously designed print magazine devoted to Chinese food that sadly only lasted eight issues. It has nev...
  • Garlic and ginger and... a refrigerator?
    21 Jun 2021 • 8 min read
    Li Bai wrote about a grand “me” -- how I am, what I am like, what I said and did. The world scarcely matters at all, except as a prop to hang his headband on. His was a poetry of self-creation: while ...
  • Things Are Really Hopping Around Here
    08 Jun 2021 • < 1 min read
    There is only one sentence in this very long read that intersects with my Sichuan journey: “He was a computer man who dabbled in Zen Buddhism and dropped acid; I was a journalist who wrote about compu...
  • Xi Jinping and John Cena are Rotten Pieces of Pork Offal
    25 May 2021 • 14 min read
    The Poplar She is a long sword shining with a greenish light. Standing forth in the midst of solitude on the plain, she yearns towards the blue sky. Perhaps some storm will tear her from the earth. Bu...
  • Sex, jewelry, and Sichuan peppercorns
    07 May 2021 • 1 min read
    Alexander Hosie was appointed Great Britain’s consul-general in Sichuan in 1902. Szechwan: Its Products, Industries and Resources is a compilation of the copious notes on the province that the curious...
  • I Don't Want Your Ghost Kitchen
    16 Apr 2021 • 2 min read
    Han Dynasty Sichuan feast I suppose I can understand why a PR agency would repeatedly email me about JustKitchen, a Taiwan-based “app-to-door dining/cloud kitchen” start-up poised to IPO on the Canadi...
  • Tapping the Mapo Doufu Source
    11 Apr 2021 • 16 min read • 3 0
    Chen’s Mapo Doufu The year is 1911. The location is Ten Thousand Blessings Bridge, just outside of Chengdu’s North Gate. The page number of The Great Wave, by Li Jieren, is 518. Two women are sitting ...
  • Joan of Sichuan
    21 Feb 2021 • 4 min read • 5 4
    First: an apology. This is the longest I’ve gone without publishing a newsletter post since the inception of The Cleaver and the Butterfly. Shameful! Disgusting! My excuses: 1) I am working on a epic ...
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