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Tuesday, May 9, 2017


...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-editions"...
17.TASTING BEER; an insider's guide to the world's greatest drink. Revised and updated. (Storey Publishing, 2009, 2017, 368 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-777-4 $19.95 USD paperbound) is by Randy Mosher, a drinks writer who specializes in beer (he also wrote "The Brewer's Companion"). It was originally published in 2009, sold over 200K copies, and now has been revised and updated. The first half of the book is a primer and history, with historical illustrations of labels and factories and beer-making devices. More than 50 beer styles are defined and explained. He believes that every batch of beer is affected by the brewmaster's choices and recipes. He goes on to discus formulation of beer styles, procedures and house techniques, yeasts, fermentation, carbonation, filtration, and packaging. His primer includes service and storing. He describes over 900 tastes found in beer, including resin, toast, apples, and smoke. There is a chapter on beer and food pairings and matchings. It is distressing to note that while the 1971 Campaign for Real Ale continues in the UK, real ale is now just 10% of total UK pub consumption. It is similar in Belgium – all those Belgian ales only account for 15% of domestic consumption. In the second half, Mosher gives a style-by-style-compendium of US beers, British ales, German lagers, Belgian Dubbels, and other variations around the world. Each style has regional facts and figures, characteristics of taste and aroma, availability by season, food matches, and some suggested beers to try (illustrated by many contemporary labels). At the end, there is short mention of beer drinks, such as ale punch, bishop, brown betty, and black velvet. There's a bibliography, a list of websites, and a glossary. The revision is a colourful and a useful compendium, especially for those taking the Cicerone courses (beer sommeliers). Quality/Price Rating: 90.
18.THE NORDIC WAY (Pam Krauss Books/Avery, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49584-6 $24 USD hardbound) is by the team of Arne Astrup (nutritionist), Jennie Brand-Miller (glycemic researcher), and Christian Bitz (hospital researcher). It was originally published in Denmark; this is its North American release in an English translation. The authors had done a massive study to identify ratio of carbs to protein for maintaining a healthy body weight. The key was to eliminate the "deprivation" that lead to binging and backsliding, and then emphasize low-GI foods, great flavours, and textures. It's like the Mediterranean diet but for up North: the Nordic diet emphasizes the ratio of carbs to protein using ingredients found in cooler climates. Two-thirds of the book is a collation of engaging recipes, with carb-protein ratios and nutrition data clearly stated. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
19.THE PALOMAR COOKBOOK (Appetite by Random House, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-753044-8 $40 CAD hardbound) is from the Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning restaurant The Palomar (in London's Soho 2014-  ) with more than 100 dishes from modern-day Jerusalem covering Moorish Spain, North Africa and the Levant. It was originally published by Mitchel Beazley in 2016. The preps and stories come from Layo Paskin and Tomer Amedi. Typical are shakshuka two ways, fattoush salad, kubenia, spinach gnocchi, and hake with deep-fried cauliflower. Terrific layout and photography. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
20.DUCK SOUP (Chronicle Books, 2016, 2017, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-6179-2, $35 USD hardbound) is by Clare Lattin, co-founder of a number of restaurants in the UK (Ducksoup, Rawduck) and Tom Hill, chef at Ducksoup and other places. It's a restaurant book that was orgiinally published in 2016 in the UK by Square Peg; this is its American release. The preps concentrate on simple details of garnishes such a bunt lemon, toasted nuts, fried curry leaves. There is good material on entertaining at home, and it is all done in a stylish manner, but emphasizing ease of delivery. Typical are charred fennel, roasted hake, shaved fennel with favas and peas, orzo pasta, and rhubarb gelatin.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly metric with some avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
21.ALL ABOUT EGGS (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8775-6, $26 USD hardbound) comes from Rachel Khong, contributing editor to Lucky Peach, and the editors of Lucky Peach. It uses preps from the magazine (which, at last notice, is folding in May). There may be other books in the series to preserve the Lucky Peach recipes and commentaries. It states on the title page "everything we know about the world's most important food". Halfway through the book there is a section "recipe picture menu" where the plated dishes are collated, followed by the book's index. There are also a handful of preps from other sources, and these have been noted, as well as about 50 named contributors. Great, great illustrations and fine cooking materials. This reference work has about 100 recipes in all. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86
22.EAT BETTER NOT LESS (Hardie Grant Books, 2015, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-092-7, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Nadia Damaso. It was originally published in Germany by Fona Verlag AG in 2015; this is the English language translation and publication. Nadia also did the photography and some of the art direction. Her philosophy is that we all need to be eating the right ingredients. She's got 100 quick and easy recipes, emphasizing meat dishes, vegetarian dishes, and vegan preps. There's a black rice paella with shiitake and wheatgrass aioli, avocado and zucchini pizza, mango and salmon tacos, sweet potato and veggie crisps with guacamole, or couscous and hemp heart-crusted chicken with lemon honey sauce. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and some  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85
23.SAVAGE SALADS; fierce flavors filling power-ups (Gibbs Smith, 2016, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-4492-7 $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Davide del Gatto and Kristina Gustafsson, who run the Savage Salad food truck in the UK. It was originally published in 2016 by Francis Lincoln; this is the North American reprint debut. Savage Salads believes in salads that taste amazing, look beautiful, and leave you full. It is all done by interesting flavour combinations, creative use of many grains, and lots of protein. It's also a sort of salad "bowl" meal with a variety of complementary foods and sauces. The authors say the book is not really meant for vegetarians or dieters. Typical are venison carpaccio with pickled mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli; cracked wheat with figs, blue cheese, and pecans; rabbit terrine and leek; seared tuna filet with cherry tomatoes, capers and red onion. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
24.HARVEST (Hardie Grant Books, 2016, 200 pages, ISBN 978-174379011-3 $19.99 USD paperbound) has been edited by Paul McNally as a publisher's book; there is no tracing of where the preps came from. The 180 recipes follow the seasons from summer through spring. Typical are spezzalino with root veggies, pasta with bacon and broccoli, Thai chicken and broccoli stir-fry, and lemon olive oil cake with raspberry curd. Really good watercolours and stylish photography complete the book, but there is no introductory matter, the print is tiny, but there is an index. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 85
25.BURGER LAB (Hardie Grant Books, 2015, 2017, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1743792759 $24.99 USD hardbound) was originally published in 2015. This is the reprint by Daniel Wilson who examines the precise elements that make up the ultimate hamburger: the soft bun, the pickle, the mayonnaise/ketchup, the beef patty (here, wagyu). It appears to be a thorough in-depth analysis, with a variety of beef burgers and 18 others: soft-shell crab, tonkatsu pork, and Reuben, plus more. For the burger fan who also likes graphs and charts and illustrations of burgers. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric with some avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
26.MIGHTY SALADS (Ten Speed Press, 2017, 146 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-57804-5, $22.99 USD hardbound) is by the folks at Food52 (founded by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs in 2009. Since then Food52 has won many awards, including Beards and IACPs for its cookbooks, cooking and home shop, podcast and cooking hotline, all found through There are 60 salads here, ranging from traditional small sides through to one-meal wonders. Lots of variations too. The arrangement is from leafy salads to grain and bean salads, pasta and bread, fish and seafood, and meat. Typical are spicy chicken salad with rice noodles, bloody Mary steak salad, seared scallop salad with black lentils, bagna cauda egg salad, and freekeh with fennel and smoked fish salad. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois and metric measurements. Quality/price rating: 89.

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