Landmarks of the Chinese Cryosphere



Nicola Twilley of Edible Geography (and also my wife) spent a large part of this past winter exploring the world of artificial refrigeration in China for The New York Times. The results of that trip are now out in this weekend's New York Times Magazine, called "The Price of Cold," and she's put together an accompanying travelogue on Edible Geography that takes you to "Ten Landmarks of the Chinese Cryosphere."

These new spatial monuments to the control of thermal energy include the dreamlike "Room of the Sleeping Fish" in Jinan, which sounds like something out of an early Rupert Thomson novel, where live fish are effectively refrigerated into a state of hibernation during which they can survive outside of water; the delightful, Willy Wonka-like "Yogurt Control Room" in Tianjin, where vats of active bacteria grow and proliferate under laboratory supervision; the more or less self-explanatory Beijing Vegetable Research Center; and a variety of wet markets, shops, and restaurants where you, too, can experience the electrically-powered, human-induced winter that is slowly spreading its tentacles across the nation.

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