Hardcover: 960 pages
Publisher: Phaidon Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.5 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #57,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #10 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Spanish #7106 in Books > Teens
For American devotees of the Spanish kitchen, this is definitely one to own, a publishing event. A physically impressive book, not only for its heft but also its attractive design, durability, and conveniences (American units, satin page markers), it's actually a huge improvement over the Spanish paperback original. The recipes are clearly and well-written, and do represent a nearly exhaustive compilation. But this collection is not without faults.First, a few words about the presentation. It would have been nice, in light of Spain's tremendous regional diversity, if the geographical provenance of each recipe had been identified. Too often outsiders have a monolithic view of Spain, its culture and cuisine. Spain is not just the land of paella and sangria - and the best Spanish cookbooks illuminate this culinary mosaic. Certainly, Ortega offers a sweeping itinerary, but she's not much of a tour guide. For that matter, it's always nice when cookbook authors introduce their recipes with brief blurbs that pique both the appetite and the imagination. Casas' The Foods and Wines of Spain, Mendel's Cooking from the Heart of Spain, and Von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table all do a great job with this - but it's entirely lacking here. If you're like me and like stories to go with your food, you'll be disappointed.
First and foremost I had a terrible disappointment with this book, the book might deserve a better punctuation but I have an issue with it, you can't call a disorganized recollection of international recipes, with a bigger focus in Spanish food, The Bible of Spanish Cuisine.Let me set up a list of points against this book:1: It is almost insulting to call this book of Spanish cuisine, with recipes on it like Spaghetti Carbonara, Pizza, French Alioli, Tarta Tatin.... It's ok to make a cookbook with a thousand and some recipes but it's not right to market is as a good guide of Spanish cuisine.The reason I gave it 2 stars it's just because it's interestingly designed and the compilation of recipes is original and it may be useful if you need inspiration on what to cook for dinner, but lets stay it clear although there is a lot of Spanish Plates this is not an Spanish Cuisine compilation.There is a huge lack of respect of what is and what is not Spanish, there is a long list of self invented recipes and over all, the thing that it annoys me the most is that I could write 50 recipes by heart that are made in any Spanish household, known by any Spanish chef or cooker, unique from Spain and thus widely popular that aren't here, recipes that are trully representative of Spanish cuisine that have been ignored to grant space for silly personal inventions or Italian, French or Chinese food.Bacalao al pilpil, zarzuela de pescado, tocinillos de cielo, any recipe with cochinillo, espinacas a la catalans, etc,etc,etc are cear examples of what I mean2: The author: First and foremost, just because you are one of the earliest writers of a recipe book in Spanish language it does not make you an expert in Spanish Cuisine.
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