Friday, October 8, 2010

The Lost Art of Real Cooking by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger~★★★★

Authors: Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger
Title: The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time
Release Date: July 6th, 2010
Publisher: Perigee Trade
Genre: Non-Fiction

Book Cover: The Lost Art of Real Cooking heralds a new old-fashioned approach to food---laborious and inconvenient, yet extraordinarily rewarding and worth bragging about. From jam, yogurt, and fresh pasta to salami, smoked meat, and strudel, Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger arm you with the knowledge and skills that let you connect on a deeper level with what goes into your body. 
Ken and Rosanna celebrate the patience it takes to make your own sauerkraut and pickles. They divulge the mysteries of capturing wild sourdoughs and culturing butter, the beauty of rendering lard, making cheese, and brewing beer, all without the fancy toys that take away from the adventure of truly experiencing your food.
These foods were once made by the family, in the home, rather than a factory. And they can still be made in the smallest kitchens without expensive equipment, capturing flavors that speak of place and personality. What you won't find here is a collection of rigid rules for the perfect meal. Ken and Rosanna offer a wealth of recipes, history, and techniques that start with the basics and evolve into dishes that are entirely your own."

Taryn's Review: One of the worst things about being in grad school is that I have no money and very little extra time. Unfortunately, that's what these recipes require! Nonetheless, it was still interesting book to read, especially for foodies who love spending time in the kitchen and whipping up new recipes.

I personally love to cook, which is why the book grabbed my attention. After teaching myself the basics and spending ample time in the kitchen, it was amazing to me how much better home-cooked food tasted than restaurant food. One of my biggest thrills in cooking when anyone requests a dish of mine! I was very excited to delve into this book and see what was awaiting me!

Some recipes were calling my name to try. Others were not. I say that not because they don't interest me, but for example, the availability, cost, and time factor of some recipes made it impossible for me to try. I loved how the authors encouraged the readers to adjust the recipes to their personal tastes. If you ever read a Food Network recipes review, people are always reviewing how they personally adjusted recipes to their own tastes, so I don't think most people will have a problem with that part.

Again, if you love cooking or food, pick up this book. It has a lot of interesting tidbits in it and you'll learn a thing or two. Ironically, one of the authors commented on a recipe about cod wondering why the slaves in the Caribbean didn't use local fish for their recipe; I found out the answer in a book I was reading for class at the same time called Cod (see above!).

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