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Friday, February 25, 2011


...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback
reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher
a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will
reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will
rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text
while keeping the focus tight. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
18. A FEAST FOR ALL SEASONS; traditional native peoples' cuisine
(Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010, 151 pages, ISBN 978-1-55152-368-2, $24.95
CAD soft covers) is by Andrew George Jr. and Robert Gairns. George was
most recently head chef at the Four Host First Nations pavilion at the
2010 Winter Olympics. He was also involved with the World Culinary
Olympics as part of the first all-Native team in the competition's
history. He instructs at the Kla-how-eya cooking school. Gairns is a
writer-playwright. The book was earlier published as "Feast!" by
Doubleday Canada in 1997. It's part memoir (updated, of course) and
part cookbook, with 120 recipes that feature foods from native areas of
Canada, such as salmon and fiddleheads, wild duck, oysters, beaver, and
bear. It is a unique book: the original was well-worn and tattered-
splattered through many kitchens over the past 13 years. The emphasis
is on "feast" foods and ceremonies, for a gathering small or large; it
could even be a family dinner. There are cultural food notes, with
specific material about the salmon harvest, bannock, and wild rice.
Half of the recipes are in the seasonal menus beginning with autumn;
the other half are from the waters, the earth, land and the skies. The
eight menus have page references to the recipes used. You'll need
access to a lot of wild food in order to do these recipes. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no metric table of equivalents. Try moose
chili or moose cutlets, wild goose stuffed with apples, smoked salmon
on bannock fingers, seafood chowder, spirit braid seafood platter, and
any of the delicious soups. Quality/price rating: 89.

19. WHY ITALIANS LOVE TO TALK ABOUT FOOD (Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
2006, 2010, 449 pages, ISBN 978-0-374-53253-6 $18 US soft covers) is by
Elena Kostioukovitch, a translator (Umberto Eco) and essayist. It was
originally published in Italian in 2006, and then in English in 2009.
This is its paperback reprint edition, with log rolling by Jacques
Pepin and Tom Colicchio. It is billed as "a journey through Italy's
regional cuisines". Each region is discussed with its history,
geography and culture as it all pertains to food. Wine is not covered,
although Campari is mentioned. Each area has a set of sidebars which
lists dishes, food ingredients and drinks. It's an academic book, with
an extensive 23 page bibliography, end notes, and two food sections:
cooking methods in English for an Italian phrase, and pairings of pasta
shapes with sauces. It's a good book, long on culture and Mediterranean
Diet and Slow Food (as well as pilgrims and Jews), but I still don't
see WHY Italians love to talk about food. Quality/price rating: 90.

20. HOW BAKING WORKS. 3rd edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, 516 pages,
ISBN 978-0-470-39267-6, $45 US soft covers) is by Paula Figoni, a
professor at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University
in Providence, Rhone Island. She had earlier worked for the Pillsbury
Company. The first edition was created for students in 2003. This
latest version incorporates changes on health and wellness in baking
(special diets, food sensitivities, food allergies), changes due to the
switch away from trans fats, changes in the student exercises and
experiments, more questions, drawing and charts, and some simplified
explanations for the chemistry behind such functions as emulsification.
A useful book for both students and short-order cooks. Quality/price
rating: 86.

21. ANJUM'S NEW INDIAN (Alhambra Editions, 2010, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-
84400-954-1, $14.95 CAD soft covers) is by Anjum Anand, who hosts the
TV show "Indian Food Made Easy" in the UK. Here, she collates many
recipes from her best-selling book based on the TV show which has the
same title, along with some fave regional Indian dishes. The emphasis
is on light, modern, and simple Indian food. There are over 100 dishes
here, arranged by ingredient (fish, meat, beans, etc.) with separate
chapters for snacks, light meals, desserts, drinks and chutneys. There
is also a short discourse on regional foods, common ingredients, and
basic recipes for masala, yogurt, and paneer. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric
table of equivalents. Because of the "perfect" binding, the book is
awkward when open, so be careful. What works well in this basic book?
Tomato-poached eggs, quick brad and veggie stir-fry, chicken dhansak,
Bengali fish stew, mung lentil curry, Punjabi lamb chops. Quality/price
rating: 86.
22. MAKING SENSE OF WINE TASTING; your essential guide to enjoying
wine. 5th ed. (Wine Appreciation Guild, 2010; distr. by McArthur & Co.,
174 pages, ISBN 978-1-891267-03-1, $34.95 CAD soft covers) is by Alan
Young, founder of the International Wine Academy, based in San
Francisco. This is his 19th book; it was first published in London
England in 1986 and has been revised and updated several times. Paul
Rigby contributes some engaging and hilarious cartoons, while Robert
("Himself") Parker Jr. gives some log rolling. The emphasis is on
sight, touch, smell and taste (but can't you also hear the bubbles in
crackling wine? Just wondering…). New this edition is the concept of
umami. There are photos, cartoons, charts, and highlighted passages
(for the kernel material). Plus there are plenty of exercises for self-
study pr as part of a class experience. In addition, there's ancillary
material on glassware, wine judging, setups, and bibliographies for
further reading. This is a must read. Quality/price rating: 92.


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