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Wednesday, October 3, 2007



...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"...

12. RED, WHITE AND DRUNK ALL OVER; a wine-soaked journey from grape to
glass (Anchor Canada, 2007, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-385-66155-3, $22
paper covers) is by my colleague and fellow Wine Writer's Circle of
Canada member, Natalie MacLean. It was originally published last year
in 2006, and had then been described as "engaging", "practical", and
"pleases the palates". It covers the zany obsessiveness of wine
aficionados in North America. Topics include being an undercover
sommelier for a night, visiting vineyards in France and California,
retail stores, wine critics, and wine collecting. She has added a new
chapter "Wine Meets Its Toughest Matches", about pairing wine with
foods such as artichokes, curries, chocolate desserts, and salads.
Check out There is no index, which is a
shame: this is a distressing trend in most books of eclectic essays and
memoirs. It would only take a few hours and two book pages to produce
an index, but it would add immeasurably to the worth of the book
(easier to re-find data). This is a good read, although I've never
liked the title (I have a personal bias against anything cutesy with
alcohol-related social behaviour). Quality/Price Rating: 85.

13. CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY. Fifth edition (Compass American Guides,
2007; distr. by Random House Canada, 379 pages, ISBN 978-1-4000-1783-6,
$27.95 paper covers) is from Fodor's Travel, a well-respected publisher
of travel guides. It has been written by John Doerper, Constance Jones,
and Sharron Wood. It has been regularly revised over the years; indeed,
it even has its own ISSN (which is used for serially-issued
publications and magazines). It's well-photographed, indexed, and
mapped...and even well-written. It is a top-to-bottom guide to all
things vinous in most of the state (nothing on Mendocino, little on
Amador). Intro material includes wine history and wine culture,
followed by winemaking "techie" stuff, including wine-tasting tips. The
big regions are Napa and Sonoma, followed by the Central Coast. Winery
listings appear in geographical order, following the most common
driving routes. Each region has a series of suggested itineraries,
along with the usual accommodations and dining places. Top choices are
indicated. Many colour photos make this book heavy in weight.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.

14. SOUP KITCHEN (Collins, 2005, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-00-775637-7,
$19.95 paper covers) has been edited by Annabel Buckingham and
Thomasina Miers. It was originally published in the UK in 2005, and is
now available here in Canada. This is a collection of soup recipes from
top British chefs such as Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver (chickpea, leek
and parmesan soup), Claudia Roden, Gordon "Bad Boy" Ramsay, Delia Smith
(cauliflower soup with roquefort), Michel Roux Jr, and Prue Leith
(tomato and basil soup). About 100 recipes from 100 contributors;
British orientation in style and ingredients. Metric measurements are
used. 70% of the royalties go to a variety of homeless charities.
Quality/Price Ratio: 85.
But see also ---

15. SOUP'S ON! Soul-satisfying recipes from your favorite cookbook
authors and chefs (Chronicle Books, 156 pages, ISBN 978-0-8118-5262-3,
$25.95 paper covers) is a collection of recipes that were donated to
the book from chefs and cooking teachers. Half of the recipes were
previously published by Chronicle. A portion of the royalties goes to
NextCourse, a nonprofit organization that educates women in the San
Francisco County Jail on nutrition and cooking on a budget. Among the
donations are Charlie Trotter's lentil and bacon soup, Martin Yan's
crab and asparagus soup, and Michael Chiarello's pork and orange stew.
There is also Deborah Madison, Peggy Knickerbocker, and Cat "Iron Chef"
Cora. This is sort of a US equivalent to the UK book above, except it
costs more money and has fewer recipes. Still, it is for a good cause.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.

16. LOW-SALT COOKBOOK; a complete guide to reducing sodium and fat in
your diet, 3rd ed. (Clarkson Potter, 2007, 329 pages, ISBN 978-1-4000-
9762-3, $21 paper covers) is from the American Heart Association. It
was originally published in 1990 by Times Books, and was last revised
in 2001. The publisher promises that this current edition has been
completely updated and revised with 50 new recipes, over 200 in total.
The revision also includes the latest dietary info and tips on
substituting ingredients, plus how to avoid hidden sodium in prepared
foods and in dining out. Many of the preps are associated with DASH
(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). There are various appendices
on herbs and spices, ingredient substitutions, and ingredient
equivalents. Each recipe has the usual healthy listing of total fats,
cholesterol, sodium, carbs, protein, calcium, potassium, calories, and
dietary exchanges. Quality/Price Rating: 88.

17. LOTUS ASIAN FLAVORS (Periplus Editions, 2007; distr. Ten Speed, 241
pages, ISBN 978-0-7946-0492-9, $49.95 hard covers) is by Teage Ezard,
an Australian chef who also has restos in Hong Kong. He promotes his
preps as "Australian free-style". This book was originally published by
Hardie Grant Books in 2006 in Australia. He claims inspiration from
Chinese dim sum, and both Malaysian and Thai hawker markets and
vendors. His dishes here in this book are designed to be served on
platters or in bowls, eaten with chopsticks, forks or fingers, simple
and casual. Typical dishes include: drunken chicken, fried eggs with
crab, spicy tom yum soup with shrimp, coconut laksa with Chinese
doughnuts. There's an ingredient listing and a list of all the recipes
arranged by major ingredient (beef, curry, dim sum, soup, poultry,
etc.). Quality/Price Rating: 85.

18. BEARD ON FOOD; the best recipes and kitchen wisdom from the dean of
American cooking (Bloomsbury, 2007; distr. Raincoast, 337 pages, ISBN
978-1-59691-446-9, $32.95 hard covers) is a collection of short essays
by James Beard. It was originally published in 1974, and over the years
it has picked up an introductory note from Julia Child (in 1999),
illustrations in 1983, more notes by Mark Bittman in 2007, and both a
health and a supply update from Mitchell Davis in 2007. This book was
re-published to coincide with the Beard Foundation's Taste America
Festival in September. Beard had selected items from his weekly
syndicated newspaper column, 1970-1974. They reflect his beliefs,
pleasures, memories, and prejudices. Recipes are in narrative style
(which I prefer) and in lighter (barely photocopy strength) typeface
which I dislike. There is both a subject guide to the recipes and a
traditional ingredient index (but there is no entry for "hamburger":
you have to check "beef" for that product). There are no tables of
metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: no need to buy if you already
have any of the earlier versions, but otherwise 85.

19. SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOOD; classic and modern dishes from Indonesia,
Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Rev. ed.
(Periplus Editions, 2007; distr. Ten Speed, 572 pages, ISBN 978-0-7946-
0488-2, $37.50 paper covers) is by Rosemary Brissenden from Australia.
It was originally published in 1969 with many revisions over the years;
the last was in 2003 by Hardie Grant Books. This current work has been
Americanized. Recipes have been arranged by country, and within, by
style of cooking. There is a table of measurements for small metric
conversions, but otherwise the recipes have both metric and US volumes
and weights. Malaysia and Singapore have the largest allocation (154
pages), with Laos as the smallest (22 pages). Typical basic preps (all
sourced as to origin) include fish curry with coconut milk from South
India, stuffed cucumber consomme from Bangkok, chicken in soy sauce
from Java, beef or lamb sate from Indonesia, and green bamboo stew from
Laos. Six desserts are listed separately. About 500 recipes are here,
and there is a concluding bibliography for further reading. Elizabeth
David once said that this was "A book that every serious cook should
possess". Quality/Price Rating: 90.

20. THE JAPANESE KITCHEN; a book of essential ingredients with over 200
authentic recipes (Kyle Cathie Book, 2007; distr. Raincoast, 240 pages,
ISBN 978-190492-066-3, $24.95 paper covers) is by Kimiko Barber, who
has authored many other Japanese cooking books. It was originally
published in 2004. It was a winner of an International Association of
Culinary Professionals' (IACP) Award for Design. She categorizes 100
ingredients (soba noodles, umeboshi pickled plums) and produces 200
recipes. The book is about the kitchen, with its tastes, uses, and
health benefits. Most of the preps here are classics, such as deep
fried rice cake, udon noodle soup, lotus root in sweet vinegar, green
bean salad, sushi, sukiyaki, chicken teriyaki, et al. But there are
rarities too, such as gobo (burdock) stir-fry or kenchin jiru. There is
a history of the foods used. All of the recipes have volume and weights
as found in English countries, but with no metric tables of
equivalents. And the design IS fabulous...Quality/Price Rating: 86.

21. CULINARY MATH. 3rd ed. (John Wiley and Sons, 2007, 262 pages, ISBN
978-0-470-06821-2, paper covers) is by Linda Blocker (a former math
teacher) and Julia Hill (a public accountant). They both have taught at
the Culinary Institute of America. This is the third edition of the
workbook. The authors have updated and improved the practice problems,
clarified content, and added new photography. They have also produced a
website ( where you can practice food
costing on an Excel food cost form. There's a wealth of material here
for the office computer usage. Each chapter covers a specific aspect of
math, with descriptions, situations, methods, and practice problems.
There is space for calculations. Important topics include conversions,
yields, recipe costing, beverage costing, recipe size conversion,
various formulae and charts, and so forth. Not for the
innumerate...Quality/Price Rating: 95 (industrial standard).

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