In light of the suspension of eatingchinese's discussion forums, and while its lazy webmaster searches for a more spam-resistant alternative, eatingchinese.org suggests, nay, insists that its visitors try hanging out at chowhound.com. For those who are unaware, chowhound is a shining example of what God or Gore or whatever Geek invented the internet intended it to be, a vast Community Memory Project, an attempt to pre-empt the power of the computer for the use of the community. Sure it covers "civilian" cuisines, but within its vast network of discussion boards it contains as much appreciation and deconstruction of Chinese cuisine and its bypaths as any two single purpose message boards might have. You can dissect your favorite (or least favorite) Chinese restaurant on the appropriate regional discussion board, ask about restaurants in Turpan on the China board, share your recipe for Strange Taste Chicken on the Home Cooking board, indulge in some serious wok talk on the Cookware board, or give your props to Panda Express on the Chains board. No one will stop you from crying in your pijiu over burgers or doughnuts, either, if that's your perversion.
Gary Soup is a blogger, tweeter and sometimes poster to foodie web sites, usually blathering about Chinese food. He is a retired transport planner with an abiding interest in all aspects of Asian and other ethnic foods and their place in the world. He has twice been married to Shanghainese women who happened to be good cooks and consequently is well-grounded in Shanghainese "jia chang" cuisine. He is based in San Francisco, but spends as much time as he can in Shanghai and New York and can sometimes be seen prowling the streets of Montreal. He is the author of two articles on food in the guidebook "Urbanatomy: Shanghai" and has been a guest blogger for the Asian Art Museum on the food of Shanghai. He currently maintains two Blogger blogs, and posts a lot to flickr. Some earlier online efforts of Mr. Soup drift about the World Wide Web as cyberspace junk.