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Thursday, January 17, 2013

FOOD Book of the Month: ROOTS

ROOTS; the definitive compendium with more than 225
recipes (Chronicle Books, 2012, 431 pages, ISBN 978-0-8118-
7837-1, $40US hard covers) is by Diane Morgan, award-
winning author of 17 other cookbooks and It comes with log rolling from
Elizabeth Andoh, Colman Andrews, and Deborah Madison. It's
encyclopedic and arranged by major tuber, from "Andean
tubers" to Yuca, with a sort chapter on other roots such as
arrowroot, chicory, coriander root, ginseng, kudzu,
groundnut, licorice, and turnip-rooted chervil. She tells
us where they developed and how they came to be first
eaten, varieties, nutrition, selection, storage, and what
best to do with them. This is followed by a variety of
recipes. The emphasis in the preps is international, and
all are flavourful and even exciting.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric
and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
equivalents. There's even a bibliography for further
reading. This book adds to the public's knowledge of foods.
Audience and level of use: serious cooks, libraries.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: under
"arrowhead", there is persimmon and arrowhead; arrowhead
leak soup; roasted lemongrass chicken with arrowhead; and
clay pot-caramelized pork belly and arrowhead stew.
The downside to this book: too many potato and carrot
recipes? These could have been downplayed more, since most
other cookbooks include them.
The upside to this book: the typeface is above normal and
there is sufficient white space for adding notes.
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

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