Series: Essential Cookbooks (Thunder Bay Press)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (CA) (May 2003)
Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #405,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #206 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Mediterranean
I'm not a major chef, so things like Joy of Cooking and James Beard glaze my eyes over unless I know exactly what I'm looking for. This book has pictures of all/most of the dishes so it's fun to page through and find things to cook when you are looking for new and different. I've cooked about 8 things out of here so far and all have been outstanding.The conversions from metric to english leave something to be desired. For canolli shells she says to roll to 5mm or 1/4 inch thick, an 1/8 would be more appropriate. Some things are in weight instead of measure, 300g of flour instead of 2 cups, so be prepared with scale or something.
This is, by far, my favorite cookbook. The design and photos are so well done you can't help but to page through it time and time again, wanting to try every recipe in the book.The recipes are broken up by country/region: Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East. There are even a few recipes that are shared in each of these regions, and the differences between them are plain to see. Fortunately, this doesn't happen so much that you think you're being cheated out of variety. There are quite a few dishes for you to try.It also has several other sections such as making your own pasta, dressings and sauces, etc, as well as little asides about many of the ingredients you will use. I can't stress enough how much I like this book. I only wish would use the "look inside" feature so people could see exactly what I mean.
First off, this book has beautiful photos for almost every recipe. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of common Mediterranean ingredients, from anchovies to za'atar, that can be found in the beginning. I really liked the grouping of recipes by countries/regions, and most country/region sections has its own article on a specific food tradition. For example, pizza and antipasti for Italy, tapas for Spain, dressings for France, etc. This book would be great for your personal cookbook collection or your coffee table. Measurements come in both metric and customary units, but some conversion may still be necessary. I wouldn't purchase this book if you are looking for cheap or simple recipes. I made the baklava (even a simplified recipe is relatively expensive), which was very delicious and fun to make, but it required expensive ingredients, such as orange flower water. Some recipes call for rabbit, squid, or brains, which I have never seen in my local grocery. I found that you can find most of the ingredients required for the recipes, but like I said before, they can get pricey. The majority of the recipes are time consuming, but they are delicious. Do not buy this book if you are looking for quick and cheap meals. These recipes are all about the joy of cooking and ingredients, and if that is what you are looking for, this book is for you.
First off to be fair. I don't know a whole lot about mediterranean cooking. I find southern food and mexican food to be my favorites however i am looking to expand my knowledge of food. I purchased this book knowing from another review that it included alot of pictures. I was hoping to be able to learn something about mediterranean cooking that i didn't know.As i started to leaf through this book i was impressed by the clarity of all the color photo's of gorgeous food throughout the book. Every few pages, in the margin of the page there is a picture and an explination or a little comment on an ingrediant used. I think this is great however the flaws show up when the picture doesn't match the item that is listed. For instance when giving a little history on "aioli" (garlic mayo) there is a picture of some asparagus. When talking about "Salad Nicoise" (named Nicoise because of the olive's) there is a picture of bell peppers. "Tuna" you get a picture of lemons. "Anchovies" you get a picture of garlic. It's a little irritating at most.The other problem i have with this book is that alot of the recipe's also show up in "The Essential Seafood Cookbook" so now i have duplicates of certain recipe's.Now don't let my complaining scare you away from this book. It's still a good book despite it's flaws. the pictures really are awesome. (you can see the little eyes clearly on the picture of fried baitfish). As for the authenticity of the food presented here? From what i know any book that includes a recipe for Miala Tiganita (fried lamb brains) has probably got to be pretty authentic even if i know nothing about the cuisine of Greece.
This is a fantastic book. Everything from the 6 page listing of the key ingredients in a Mediterranean pantry, complete with color photos of the items, to the explanation of the different types of olive oil make this a very nice book. I like to know how a dish should look and this book delivers. There are color photos on every page.Recipes are divided into regions, as noted in the previous review, and there are also special sections on such topics as antipasto, making pizza, making pasta, dressings and sauces, tapas and preparing olives. Recipes cover everything from soups, salads, breads, main dishes, and desserts.I agree, it is a shame that doesn't do a "Look Inside" feature for this book. It is beautifully done. I expect to get a lot of use and enjoyment out of this book for years to come.
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