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Tuesday, June 25, 2013


...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"...
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS – the ultimate soups & stews book; more than
400 satisfying meals in a bowl (Wiley & Sons, 2013, 480 pages, ISBN
978-1-118-33561-1, $19.99 US soft covers) is a good source for easy-to-
prepare meals. There are the classics, the contemporaries, and the
spicy twists. Nothing is actually really new here, but they have been
assembled to put the best light on the one course meals in a bowl, good
for families and for entertaining. There's a primer on making stocks,
storing leftovers, and some slow-cooker recipe variations. Content
sections include hearty, poultry, chili, dumplings, meatless, fish,
international, regional US, Sunday specials, and cool summer coups. At
the end there is a page on emergency substitutions. Preparations have
their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a
whole page of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
PROFESSIONAL BAKING; sixth edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2013, 767 pages,
ISBN 978-1-118-08374-1, $99.99 hard covers) is by Wayne Gisslen, and
features recipes from Le Cordon Bleu (Paris). It comes with a
registration number for online retrieval of CulinarE-Companion Recipe
Management Software with about 900 recipes (all the preps from the book
plus 34 others, with options to modify and resize – and you can also
add your own), and a Student Workbook, an Instructor's Guide and Manual
(the latter available separately). There are also method cards with
step-by-step directions for common methods of yeast doughs, cakes,
muffins. There is material on artisan breads (natural fermentation,
hand crafting), and a chapter on baking for special diets, including
low-fat, low-sugar, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. New to this
edition are plating techniques in chapter 23 (Dessert Presentation) and
expanded information on cakes, with more data on cake planning, icing,
filling and decoration. Also new is material on tempering chocolate and
mixing speeds and times for breads. There are about 180 new
photographs, and a new redesign to enhance the layout.  There is a
recipe contents page which explores yeast doughs, quick breads,
doughnuts and crepes, syrups, pies, tarts, cakes, decorating, cookies,
custards, frozen desserts, fruits, chocolate and marzipan. Everything
here in this book is clear, precise, no-nonsense, practical and
methodical. Both US volume and metric measurements are given in side-
by-side columns. Cooking schools, restaurants, hotels, and large
hospitality establishments will appreciate the book since it is a major
textbook. Quality/Price Ratio: 90.

PLATTER'S SOUTH AFRICAN WINES 2013; the guide to cellars, vineyards,
winemakers, restaurants and accommodation (John Platter SA
Wine Guide Ltd; distr. by Wines of South Africa Canadian Office,, 626 pages, ISBN 978-0-987-0046-1-1, $30CAD
includes shipping, hard cover) is the recognized authority on South
African wines. It has been published for 33 years. For this latest
edition, there are now 17 tasters – all identified, and with initials
after tasting notes. Some of the tasters have changed over the years.
More than 7000 wines are here evaluated (about 900 are new to this
edition), along with new wineries. One-quarter of all top ranking 5
star wines are now being made by mom-and-pop operations, a remarkable
achievement. Even the large co-ops are making more credible, limited
collections of superior wine. The contents of the guide are
straightforward: some 500 pages of dictionary-arranged wineries,
detailing most aspects are given, followed by chapters on the wine
industry, vintages and styles, and touring (accommodation and food, all
in some 40 pages). The book is 8 pages longer than last year's edition.
To quote, "Wines are entered under the name of the private producer,
estate, co-operative winery or brand name of a merchant, and listed
alphabetically. Entries feature some or all of: producer's name,
address, phone/fax number, email address, website; wine name, colour
and style, grape varieties, vintage, area of origin; selected recent
awards and star ratings. Where applicable, other attractions to be
enjoyed on the property, such as meals and accommodation, are
highlighted." The book also has an indication of organic wines
available for sale and sketch maps to show the location of all the
wineries. The index at the front is by grape, so you can see at a
glance what is the top performing pinotage, or cabernet sauvignon, or
sparkler. Quality/price rating: 95.
PROFESSIONAL FOOD MANAGER. 3rd ed. (Wiley & Sons, 2013, 139 pages, ISBN 
978-1-118-38087-1, $  US soft covers) is from the National Environment
Health Association. It has been updated to the 2011 supplement of the
2009 FDA Food Code. The book helps raise the competency level of food
managers by preparing them for the certification examination. There is
good data here on the key principles of food safety management and how
to use these principles effectively, how to identify and avoid many
forms of contaminants, how to prevent time-temperature abuse and cross-
contamination, the importance of cleaning and sanitizing, pest control,
and guidelines to follow during and after an inspection. While American
in tone and development for the NEHA certification, the book does have
positive benefits for many food managers in other countries.
Quality/price rating: 88.
200 STEWS & MOROCCAN DISHES (Hamlyn, 2013, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-600-
62509-4, $7.99US paper covers) is by Ghislaine Benady and Nadjet
Sefrioui. It was originally published in French in 2010, and this is
the English language release. This nifty collection of 200 recipes is
basic, but affordable. The preps are concise and easy to make,
ingredients appear to be readily available (at least in cities), and
there is a good index. Most are accompanied by a photo and variations.
Contents: kemia and small plates, soups, tagines, fish, kebabs,
veggies, couscous, pastilles, and other desserts. Preparations have
their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no
table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.

THREE GUYS FROM MIAMI CELEBRATE CUBAN (Gibbs Smith, 2006, 2013; distr.
Raincoast, 248 pages, ISBN 1-4236-3330-3, $24.99 soft covers) is the
second such book from the team of Glenn Lindgren, Raul Musibay, and
Jorge Castillo. Glenn is from Minneapolis; the other two are from Cuba.
Together they write and broadcast on all things Cuban. Only Raul is
full-time in Miami. The book is a reprint of the 2006 hard back
edition. The Three Guys have 100 recipes around an entertaining theme,
with more classic dishes simplified into a North American style. Here
are ideas for family dishes and parties (Christmas Eve and Day, New
Year Eve and Day, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Valentine Day). There are
even Cuban-style parties such as a velorio (wake) and Three Kings Day,
with text on the Cuban party style. There is lots of hand holding here
with cook's notes, food glossary, and US mail order sources. Check out for more. The Three Guys' index needs work
(there is no entry for Cuban Devilled Eggs under C or D). Some
interesting or unusual recipes include yuca with grapefruit and orange
sauce, fish and pineapple salad, Cuban red beans and rice, shrimp with
cheese. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois
measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price
rating: 86.
PASTRIES. Rev. ed. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011, 2012, 288 pages,
ISBN 978-1-61769-027-3, $50 US hard covers) is by Pierre Herme, an
Alsatian pastry chef once apprenticed to Lenotre, and then moved on to
Fauchon and Ladouree. He now owns pastry shops in Paris and Tokyo, and
has authored many cookbooks. This book was originally published in
French as "Reves de Patissier", and presented 50 classics reinvented by
Herme. The English translation appeared in 2011, and was republished
last year. Actually, the book has 50 of the classics PLUS 50 of the
reinventions, so you get 100 preps plus stunning photos of all of them.
Included are blancmange, cream puffs, crepes, flan, macarons, lemon
tart, linzer torte, tiramisu, black forest cake, rum baba, meringues,
trifle, soufflĂ© – and more. Each is given a history and extensive prep
notes, with timings. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both
metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
equivalents. There is also an index of ingredients, a recipe index, and
a bibliography. First rate. Quality/price rating: 91.

CREATING YOUR BACKYARD FARM; how to grow fruit and vegetables and raise
chickens and bees (CICO Books, 2010, 2013, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-
908862-93-8, $21.95 US paper covers) is by Nicki Trench, an English
crafter and veggie grower. This was one of the first of the "backyard
farm" books, and it has been slightly updated for 2013. It is, of
course, a how-to book on growing your own fruit and veggies in your
backyard, with added information on hens and bees, window-box salads,
and herbs. On a size of one tennis court, you can grow a lot in a year,
including almost 3,000 pounds of potatoes, a half-ton of strawbs,
almost a ton of salad leaves, 330 pounds of sweet corn, 1750 pounds of
onions, and have four hens produce 800 eggs a year. Many plants are
discussed, along with many good photos. No recipes, but plenty of
resources and websites are listed. Quality/price rating: 85.

MYCOPHILIA; revelations from the weird world of mushroom (Rodale, 2011,
348 pages, ISBN 978-1-60961-987-9, $16.99 US paper covers) is by
Eugenia Bone, a food writer for Saveur and Food & Wine, and currently
president of the New York Mycological Society. It was originally
published in 2011; this is the 2013 paperback reprint. It is a rambling
but informative book about the facts and theories behind mushrooms, "as
well as a glimpse into the kooky, erudite, and totally obsessed
subculture of fungi enthusiasts" (back cover). Weird facts include that
fungi are related more closely to us than to plants (to which I would
add, related even more closely to actor Kevin Bacon), that the most
expensive food in the world is a fungi (white truffle), wild mushroom
harvesting is the US is a large cash  business, and "magic mushrooms"
really do help patients. No recipes, but plenty of anecdotal stories, a
lot of end notes, some dark black and white photos, and an index
complete the package. Quality/price rating: 86.

THE 8-WEEK HEALTHY SKIN DIET (Robert Rose, 2013, 480 pages, ISBN 978-0-
7788-0440-6, $24.95 CAN paper covers) is by Karen Fischer, a former
model and now nutritionist with a passion for health research. She once
suffered from skin problems. The book was originally published in
Australia and New Zealand in 2008 as "The Health Skin Diet", winning a
major prize. It's a common sense diet and lifestyle program, with good
flexibility. It was originally developed as an anti-inflammatory eating
program for eczema sufferers. But it seemed to have application to
psoriasis, acne, dandruff, wrinkles, sallow complexion, dermatitis, and
hives. Hence this book, which emphasizes getting beautiful skin from
the inside out. There are 100 food preps and some menu plans.
Associated conditions can also be helped: poor digestion, poor immunity
to colds and flu, hypoglycemia, body odor and bad breath. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 89.

THE SALT BOOK; your guide to salting wisely and well, with recipes
(Whitecap, 2013, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-176-8, $29.95 CAN paper
covers) was originally published last year in Australia by Arbon
Publishing. Fritz Gubler has a background in hotel management, David
Glynn is a food writer, and Russell Keast lectures in nutrition science
at Deakin University. It is a timely book, since it is also a guide
with recipes. Salt has been in the news in North America as never
before, and before the media coverage on salt blows over, you just
might want to read this book. It deals with why salt at all, which salt
to use, how to salt, when to salt, trends and facts, plus recipes
(almost 200) and techniques. Some of the preps are for making your own
salt at home, salt-block cooking, sauces, and salted desserts. 17 major
salts are described, along with a bibliography for further reading.
Because they know I scream and yell about these things, there are
tables of metric conversions. Classic starters include Spanish almonds,
melon and prosciutto, salt crackers, soft pretzels, brined trout,
gravlax, and tuna carpaccio. Mains include various salt crusts with
meats, duck confits, cured beef, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and
more. Stunning photos. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
mainly metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of
metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 89.

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