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Friday, September 20, 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. Some magazines will reissue popular or
classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-

25. GREENS! Tips and techniques for growing your own vegetables
(Skyhorse Publishing, 2013; distr. T. Allen, 194 pages, ISBN 978-1-
62087-729-6, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Karin Eliasson, a Swedish
writer-gardener. It was originally published in Swedish in 2012; this
is its North American debut. It is a comprehensive enough book, with
photos of techniques, plants, and maintenance. No index, but veggies
are listed in the table of contents, beginning with leaves, stalks,
belladonnas, squashes, beans and peas, lily family, root veggies, and
cabbage family. There is a primer on growing and how to handle problems
that may arise when cultivating. There's also a recommended reading
section plus magazines and internet resources. Quality/price rating:
26. UNCORKED; the science of champagne. Rev. ed. (Princeton University
Press, 2004, 2013, 194 pages, ISBN 978-0-691-15872-3, $24.95 US hard
covers) is by Gerard Liger-Belair, a physics professor at the
University of Reims. It is not so much revised as added to, with a new
foreword by Herve This and a 40 page "Afterword" by Liger-Belair. I
couldn't compare the original text with the current reissue, but I
suspect that the original still stands and the afterword updates it
with the latest research and experimental techniques, plus glassware
and enjoyment. The verso actually says "second printing, with a new
foreword by…and a new afterword by…", and without a 2013 copyright. The
original bibliography still stands, but has been updated through the
"Afterword". I have no problem with all of this, but it should be made
clear that this is not normally a "revised" book, but rather a
supplemented book, perhaps made awkward by a certain amount of checking
the original and the update to make sure of the text. Could it not have
been easier to just re-do the text? The publisher did redo the index to
a comprehensive whole. Nevertheless, a classic book that I enjoyed on
first reading years ago, explaining the science of champagne – and of
course the longest entry in the index is to "bubbles". Quality/price
rating: 86.
27. VIETNAMESE STREET FOOD (Hardie Grant, 2011, 2013; distr. Random
House of Canada, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-74270489-0, $29.95 US soft
covers) is by Tracy Lister and Andreas Pohl. Lister spent 15 years in
Melbourne restaurants before moving to Vietnam; she now runs a cooking
school in Hanoi. Her book was originally published in 2011, and this is
the 2013 reprint for the North American market. This is street food at
its finest: Lister provides us with more than 60 authentic tasty preps,
representing all the best elements of Vietnam food wagons. The food is
fast, fresh, and fragrant. And if you do it yourself at home, then
there is no worry over the food. Cooking methods include rolling,
grilling, roasting, boiling, steaming, and frying – and the book's
arrangement is by method. There are separate chapters for sweets,
sauces and condiments, banh mi and salads. There's a glossary at the
back. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric weight and
avoirdupois volume measurements, but there is no table of metric
equivalents. Expect such dishes as shrimp and rice paper rolls, chicken
noodle soup, salt and pepper calamari, various banh mi sandwiches, pork
skewers, and fried spring rolls. Quality/price rating: 87.

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