...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"...
Quality/Price rating: 85.
7. TOMATO; a fresh-from-the-vine cookbook (Storey Publishing, 2004, 2010; distr. Th. Allen, 278 pages, ISBN 978-1-60342-478-3, $16.95 US paper covers) is by Lawrence Davis-Hollander, who founded and directed the Eastern Native Seed Conservancy (preservation and rediscovery of heirloom plants). It was originally published in 2004 as "The Tomato Festival Cookbook". Most of the preps come from 28 named chefs (including Massimo Capra of
THE VEGETABLE GARDENER'S BIBLE, 2nd edition (Storey Publishing, 2009; distr. T. Allen, 351 pages, ISBN 978-1-60342-475-2, $24.95 US soft covers) is by Edward C. Smith, a
PASTA ET CETERA A LA DI STASIO (Transcontinental Books, 2007, 2009, 191 pages, ISBN 978-0-9809924-8-9, $29.95 CAD paper covers) is by Josee di Stasio, who had a cooking show on French-Canadian TV. This book was originally published in French in 2007 as a tie-in with that show. It's a basic Italian cookbook, divided into chapters dealing with antipasti and minestre, pasta (the main part), and dolci. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The layout and photography is very good, but there is a lot of white space. So a gorgeous-looking book it is. She begins with cheese tuiles, salami chips, and little leek balls (none of which you see in too many Italian cookbooks), and ends with lemon sorbet and limoncello, lime budino, and an olive oil and lemon loaf (which you don't see too often). Pastas are pretty basic, although there are some like cauliflower penne, cacao e pepe, and lemon pasta that are not ordinary. Maybe it is time for someone to put out a definitive pasta book which defines the field, with about 2000 variations. She also covers the basic Italian pantry. Page numbers for recipes in the index have bold face, which is always a good idea. Quality/Price rating: 86.
LIGHTHEARTED AT HOME; the very best of Anne Lindsay (John Wiley & Sons Canada, 2010, 486p, ISBN 978-0-470-16077-0, $38.95 CAD hard covers) is by long-time food writer Anne Lindsay, a member of the Order of Canada. It collates many of her best recipes from previous Heart and Stroke Foundation books as well as 40 preps from her Key Porter books and 28 from her Ballantine book. Here are 500 recipes in total, designed to ease your heart with their low-fat approach. All courses are covered, and the book (which weighs over 4 pounds because of the coated paper) can serve as a general cookbook since it has many recipes for each part of the meal. Indeed, there is an assortment of 29 menus at the back, each prep listed with a page number, and good for a variety of occasions such as brunch, vegetarian, the four seasons, family dinners, breakfasts, luncheons, and buffets. There is also a glossary of nutritional terms and a reproduction of the Canadian Food Guide (2007).
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The book has large fonts in almost-bold typefaces, a boon to the cook who always casts an eye on the recipe in the kitchen. Good leading in the index makes it easier to read and quickly locate a recipe. The binding is durable and useful for repeated use; I say this because many of her earlier books were in paperback and fell apart after awhile. Each prep has nutritional analysis and had been reviewed by the Heart and Stroke people, who also get a portion of the proceeds from the book sales. Distributed throughout are tips and advice on healthy eating, cooking techniques of use for the lighthearted cook, make ahead instructions, and even ingredient substitutions. Some recipes are attributed to others such as Elizabeth Baird. It's an extremely useful but pretty basic book. For exciting dishes, do try the shepherd's pie (made with pork, beef and lamb), Moroccan vegetable couscous, hoisin-glazed halibut, and Provencal saffron chicken. Quality/Price rating: 88.
PROFESSIONAL COOKING, seventh edition (John Wiley and Sons,
2011 [sic], 1088 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-19753-0, $70US hard covers) is by Wayne Gisslen. It was last revised in 2007 as a textbook
meant for cooking courses at community colleges and chef schools. It has evolved into both a textbook and a book for the serious home cook. There's still some stuff on the food service industry, but not so much anymore. It has also come down a lot in price. Overall, there are about 650 recipes with another 600 variations, plus over 1,000 instructive illustrations. About 100 new recipes have been added since the last edition, mainly on veggies and grains with an international slant.
All courses and all meals are covered, plus some selective international cuisine such as oriental, Mexican, and Italian.
Mostly pretty basic stuff, but with lots of new colour photos to illustrate the step-by-step techniques and plated dishes. There is good material on how to create, to structure and to use recipes, beginning with menu construction and menu building. Other chapters concern the handling of convenience foods and meat cuts. The book concludes with an up-to-date and useful bibliography plus a glossary of food terms. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and there also are tables of equivalents.
The book is heavy and fat, and there is nothing on
wine at all, except for a few sauce preps. Recipe contents are at the front, and there is a recipe index at the back. Quality/Price rating: 88.