So that's my personal ad for her (and if you don't believe me, what about Ruhlman?). That said, she has a very interesting op-ed (found here) in the New York Times just in time for Spring Festival on MSG. Though the myths of MSG evil have long since been debunked (Slate discussed this awhile back), there are still fears in mainstream America about Chinese food and signs or menu notes that the food is "MSG-Free" are always welcome. As Dunlop notes:
Bad Chinese chefs, of course, just use MSG as a substitute for good ingredients and properly made stocks, just as bad American food companies cook up snack foods made from fat and carbohydrates laced with salt and sugar. But top Chinese chefs also use it, to refine and elevate flavors.The reality is that, properly used, MSG can actually be a good thing. So, as Dunlop concludes, as you go out and sample Chinese food, keep an open mind about the usage of MSG!