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The Basque Table: A Cookbook

Book by Mary Alustiza

Hardcover: 215 pages

Publisher: Azitsula Books; 1 edition (January 1996)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0965369900

ISBN-13: 978-0965369909

Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #232 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Spanish

The Alustiza family has a long background of cooking, ranching and basque culture in the Stockton, CA area. The Basque Table takes us to the Alusitza's table at their restaurant, through their past, through basque folklore and traditions. The recipes are always accompanied by throrough instructions and enhanced with anecdotes and illustrations that the author has included drawing from her extensive background in the antiques business. This is a personal work that entertains and educates - the food is exceptional as well.

I'm not sure how I ended up with this book, but it arrived today in the mail and having spent a few delirious hours studying it, I can say that there are no words in existence to accurately describe it. Yes The Basque Kitchen has a nice history of what seems to have been a very lovely family in Stockton, California, but the food is another thing altogether. There are a few remotely "Basque" recipes, though even they have been through some sort of American bastardization process that forced the recipes to include ingredients such as George Washington's brown stock powder and mixed frozen vegetables. I have spent a great deal of time in Northern Spain and Southwestern France and they are renowned for cooking with wonderful seasonal fresh vegetables and most everything is always made from scratch. There are few, if any, frozen vegetables or stock powders. I won't even mention the meat marinaded in mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco. If you know this family or have some connection to Stockton then perhaps you'd find this book pertinent, but if you have even a slight inclination for proper cooking then I would recommend that you steer clear and buy the other book called "The Basque Kitchen" (different author) that is available on , it's a world apart.

Mary Alustisa lived and loved the "Basque Table" as any reader will discern from her obvious enthusiasm. Mary gives a fascinating glimpse into the history of her own Basque family of which she bacame the matriarch. The reader is also given snapshots of the Alustiza family who came to live in Stockton, CA, where they owned and operated Alustiza's Restaurant in which many traditional basque tables were served to delighted guests nightly for many years. This incredible restaurant was definately one of Stockton's finest and most popular. You won't be able to find another Basque cookbook with such clear instructions and colorful details anywhere! After cooking for many years and raising a large family, aside from the recipes I found so many additional facts. Did you know that if you wrap sandwiches in butcher paper rather than tinfoil or sandwhich bags, they will never get soggy? This is an example of the hints from Mary Alustiza. Thank you Mary for sharing your family's delicious culinary secrets. I will keep your wonderful book in my kitchen from now on.

Ate at this restaurant as a child, so it's a trip down nostalgia lane. Veggie soup II is fantastic.

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