Pieces of China is an online series using objects to tell the story of China.
Imagine the stinging aroma of Sichuan’s ma la 麻辣 seasoning, as chef Fuchsia Dunlop shares the transcendent value of the humble cleaver. According to Dunlop, the cleaver, or caidao 菜刀，even features in the writings of ancient Taoist philosophers. Today, the cleaver is usually the only knife in a Chinese kitchen and is used for everything. Dunlop sharpens her cleavers herself—and carries one with her when she travels.
Fuchsia Dunlop, cook and food writer, is one of the world’s top experts in Chinese cuisine. Dunlop attended the Chengdu Culinary Institute in 1995, where she honed her cleaver skills. She has written five award-winning Chinese cookbooks and appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and numerous other TV shows.