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Sunday, May 18, 2014


...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. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...

28.TEA; history, terroirs, varieties. 2D ed (Firefly Books, 2014, 270 pages,
ISBN 978-1-77085-319-5, $24.95 CAD paper covers) is a heavily
illustrated compendium on non-herbal tea, rich in anti-oxidants and 
with proven medical benefits. It was originally published in French in
Quebec in 2009, and here is translated into English. The second edition reflects a general updating with more material on health benefits.   The four writers of this book own The Camellia Sinensis Tea House in Montreal and work
as tasters, traveling the world looking for teas. Jonathan Racine who
works for the Tea House did the editorial work. Topics include a primer
on tea, varieties, processing, cultivars, making-serving-tasting tea,
tea ceremonies, and tea in cooking (with 14 recipes by Quebecois
chefs). The source of all non-herbal teas is the plant Camellia sinensis, which is processed three different ways to produce the major classes (black, green, oolong, white, yellow, Pu er, scented and smoked. Terroir also imparts unique character to a tea. Reference material includes a bibliography, scientific tables
for the biochemical properties of 35 teas, and a directory of teas.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Throughout the book, there are profiles of tea growers. The first edition of this book was my Drink Book of the Month; this edition has the same rating: 92.

29.SUPERFOODS; the healthiest foods on the planet. 2D ed (Firefly, 2014, 256
pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-256-3, $24.95 CAD paper covers) is by
registered dietitian Tonia Reinhard, who has authored other books
dealing with vitamins and nutrition. Here, she devotes a page to each
of some 200 superfoods. The definition of such is "nutrient-dense", one
that provides a high level of nutrients in a reasonable number of
calories (that is, more bang for the buck). There have been a number of
such books over the past few years; indeed, it has even reached down to
"Superfoods for Dummies". Her book is arranged by food type:
vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, fruits, nuts and oils, herbs and
spices, grains, meats, dairy food, and beverages. In this second edition, she gives data on new research about the food ("The Healthy Evidence"), and how effective that food is.
For each superfood, she has details on nutritional content, seasonal variations,
curative value, combinations that enhance their efficacy and those to
avoid, how to maximize the beneficial effects of each, prep advice, and
culinary tips. But no recipes. There are lots here such as an
explanation of anti-oxidants, omegas, free radicals, enzymes, and
minerals. Certainly, you'd want to begin eating these foods before many
others....and quickly. There are also updated nutritional tables and a glossary.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.

30.HOW TO GROW FOOD; a step-by-step guide to growing all kinds of
fruits, vegetables, herbs, salads and more (Firefly, 2011, 2014, 256 pages,
ISBN 978-1-77085-317-1, $19.95 CAD soft covers) is by Richard
Gianfrancesco, who is a plant scientist who has co-ordinated hundreds
of garden plant tests and trials, which have been published in
magazines and online. The book has been co-published in the UK by
Quarto, and is now available as a paperback. Here he appeals to those who want to "eat local", whether from their window box or from a large backyard (maybe as much as one-third of the North American population?). He has some good principles about
organic gardening, soil management, composting, weeds and pests,
pruning, growing from seed, buying plants, and growing in containers.
In fact, his title should really be "How to Grow Real Food". The main
section is a plant-by-plant analysis for growing. He begins with
veggies and salads (potato, sweet potato, onion, lettuces, herbs, etc.
– about 64 in all), continuing with 22 fruits and three nuts. At the
end are some ideas on preserving the crop (jams, jellies, pickles,
chutneys, drying, and freezing). There's also a sowing summary, a crop
selection summary, and a list of hardiness zones. Preparations have
their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements,
but there is no table of equivalents. Most of the typeface is a shade too small for my eyes, but the index has leading and is easy to read. And there is a good explanation on how to use the book, at the front. Quality/Price Rating: 86.

31.WHERE TO EAT AROUND THE WORLD (Travel + Leisure, 2013; distr. T. Allen, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-932624-62-5, $19.95 US soft covers) is from Travel + Leisure  magazine. After 40 years it still the largest audience of any travel magazine. Reportage includes style, culture, food and design, all complemented by superb photography. This package migrates to a book which the publisher says is "coverage into an expertly vetted collection of culinary journeys. The material includes: top restos in New York, London, and Copenhagen; exotic cuisines in Sao Paolo, Marrakesh, and Vietnam; iconic dishes in Italy, Japan and Paris; and local dishes in Texas, Dubai and South Africa. There is other experiental material about eating in such places as Hawaii, Mexico City and Shanghai. There's directory type data and recommendations on what to order, and more than 200 colour pix. There's a chapter on the search for pizza in Naples vs. Rome, another on Greek wine country, and a third on "for the love of ramen" – just some of the 27 locations in all. Quality/price rating: 88.

32.FOOD & WINE ANNUAL COOKBOOK 2014; an entire year of recipes (Food & Wine Books, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 408 pages, ISBN 978-1-932624-63-2, $32.95 US) comes from "Food & Wine" magazine, and the recipes are actually from 2013's contents (using the principle of forward dating employed by almanacs). These are most, if not all, of the recipes published in 2013. All topics and courses are covered in individual chapters, from apps to desserts, with lunches and breakfasts and brunches plus drinks in their separate sections. Each of the 700 or so recipes is  sourced as to author, with a short biography
at the back of the book for each person. Contributors are noted chefs, freelancers, staff, and professional recipe developers, such as Mario Batali, the late Marcella Hazan, and Michael Symon. Beverages are also included, as well as a
few basic recipes to round out the completeness of the book. Each main course and appetizer has been paired with a wine, listed by style or varietal name, but brands are
mentioned and may not be available in Canada. 200 staff faves have been highlighted, and over the years, it was learned that these are the ones the book purchasers try first.
All preparations are coded as to "fast", and "healthy", and "make ahead". What I like about this book is the extensive, really good index, the use of colours, and the wine pairing. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.

33.BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS FRESH GRILLING (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-24219-7, $19.99 US soft covers) is the latest in the test kitchen series from a variety of magazines in both Canad and the United States. Which ones you prefer is probably dependent on whether you read the magazine or not. Certainly, they are all affordable and represent value. Here, the BH&G magazine presents some 200 grilling recipes, each with a photo, full nutritional information, and prep and grill times. Primer data includes the basics of equipment, techniques, sauces and rubs, and a produce guide for choosing, storing and preparing fresh veggies and fruits. Arrangement is by course: apps to desserts. There's a special chapter on "quick smoke": using wood chips or planks for a smoky accent in 30 minutes or less (rosemary-orange stuffed smoked pork tenderloin, smoked duck breast with acorn squash, smoked new york strip steaks, smoky beets-orange-ribeye salad, rack of lamb with smoked potatoes, and more). Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is also a full page of tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.

34.PIZZA ON THE GRILL (Taunton Press, 2014, 186 pages, ISBN 978-1-60085-828-4, $17.95 US soft covers) is by Elizabeth Karmel, a cookbook author, AP writer, and executive chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market and Country Chicken (NYC, Brooklyn, and Wash DC) and Bob Blumer, host of various Food Network shows and author of five cookbooks. It was originally published in 2008, and sold about 60,000 copies. It has been updated by both tweaking her and there and adding 10 gluten-free recipes (plus a gluten-free pizza dough). The 60 preps are easy-to-follow, good for all tastes and body needs: vegetarian, kids, meat eaters. Each comes with ingredient substitutions plus a drink and salad suggestion to complement the flavours of the pie. All pizzas are meant for grilling, so no bake stone is needed – the heat of the grill is enough. There are the classics, the meatless, the seafood, the pork, the chicken, the beef, the veggies, even the sweeties. One for summer. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.

35.28 DAYS TO YOUNGER SKIN (Robert Rose, 2013, 2014, 253 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0480-2, $24.95 CAN paper covers) is by Karen Fischer, who has authored other Rose books on skin care and eczema and diets. An earlier book offered a diet for 8 weeks with 100 recipes. This one goes for only 4 weeks, with only 50 or so recipes – a fast track program for people who have a special occasion coming up, such as a wedding, a holiday, or family/school reunion. It is a supplement to any current skin program one is using, and was originally published in Australia in 2013. Why 28 days? It takes that long for skin cells to be produced and travel to the surface. Also, it takes 21 days to break or form new habits, so 28 days seems to be an ideal run. One's metabolism will be boosted, and nutrients supplied for renewal and maintenance. But it will take some work since this is   a fast-track, not a lifestyle change. Her top 12 foods include dark leafy greens, red quinoa, black sesame seeds, blueberries, pomegranate, red onion, yellow curry powder, cloves, and more. Each recipe has nutritional data and tips, etc. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. There is, though, a resources list to check out and track down all the research she gives us. And the usual Rose production of large print and leading.
Quality/price rating: 88.

36.THE SCIENCE OF WINE; from vine to glass. 2D ed.  (University of California Press, 2005, 2012, 216 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-27689-5, $39.95 US hard covers) is by Jamie Goode, UK wine writer and columnist. The first edition in 2006 was the Glenfiddich Drink Book of the Year. It's a great introduction to the scientific and technical innovations applied to grape-growing and winemaking. It explains how the practical applications of science affects the quality, flavour and perception of wine. In addition, there is also some material on Mother Nature: how climate change and global warming is also affecting wine production and styles. As it is about the "science" of wine, it also covers biodynamics, health benefits, and screw cap closures. New to this edition is a discussion of genetically modified grapevines, sulphur dioxide, the future of cork, wine flavour chemistry; updating by new chapters  has occurred for soils, vines, oxygen management, red wine production techniques, and the role of language. An immensely accessible book, written for the lay person, and with a glossary at the end. But no footnotes or bibliography. Quality/price rating: 90.

Dean Tudor, Wine Writer,


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