Monday, July 01, 2013

Book Review : 1001 Foods - The Greatest Gastronomic Sensations on Earth

The Covers of "1001 Foods - The Greatest Gastronomic Sensations on Earth" and "1001 Foods to Die For" look remarkably similar (as you can see in the picture above) However, the introduction for the first is written by Terry Durack and the second one by Corby Kummer. The publisher for the first is Pavilion and the Publishers for the second are Andrews McMeel Publishing and Madison Books. So I'm not sure if they are the same or just share a common topic and cover page.

The book that I own and have reviewed in this post is the 1st one - "1001 Foods - The Greatest Gastronomic Sensations on Earth"

The Editor of this compendium - Terry Durack is Australia's top food writer and restaurant reviewer and also a regular contributor to the UK's Independent on Sunday.

"1001 Foods - The Greatest Gastronomic Sensations on Earth" is divided into 11 chapters following the general courses of a classic dinner. Appetizers & Small Food, Soups & Salads, Noodles & Rice, Fish & Seafood, Poultry & Game, Meats, Beans Cheese & Eggs (a surprise chapter), Fruits Nuts & Vegetables, Desserts, Breads Cookies & Pastries and Beverages. This makes the book a quick and easy reference when you are searching for inspiration. There is also a detailed index at the back if you are searching for something in particular.

Do note, that not all 1001 foods have recipes provided. About 25% of the dishes have detailed recipes, the remaining 75% have general descriptions on what the dish looks and tastes like and a bit about its cultural heritage. If you are comfortable cooking without measurements, these descriptions may be enough for you. But even if you can't do that, you can always run an online search for a recipe of a dish that interests you.There are plenty of full colour photographs that will help you visualise what the finished product should look like.

The recipes have been compiled from a number of well known chefs including Julia Child, Heston Blumenthal, Mario Batali, Nigella Lawson, Madhur Jaffrey, Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith, Ina Garten, Rick Stein, Claudia Roden, Nigel Slater, Gary Rhodes and Donna Hay among others.

1001 Foods also has some single page features like : 25 Best Nibbles to Eat with Champagne, 25 Favourite Poultry & Game Dishes, 20 Superb Sausages, Smoked Foods, Best Barbecued Meats, Salumi (Cured Meats), 4 Strong Cheeses, 4 Sheep Milk Cheeses, 4 Children's Favourites - eggs, 15 Apple Desserts, 20 Chocolate Treats

The book covers recipes from India, USA, France, China, Japan, South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand), UK, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Middle East, Lebanon, Morocco and Germany for the most part.

A couple of recipes from Russia, Ireland, Scotland, Korea, Belgium, Sweden, Mauritius, New Zealand, Israel, Iran, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Portugal, Cuba, Turkey, Balkans, North Africa, Hungary, Poland, Peru, Egypt, Denmark, Nethrlands, Switzerland, Cyprus, Austria, Scandinavia, Balkans and Eastern Europe also make an appearance.

And some recipes whose origins can't really be conclusively traced are classified as European or International.

As you can see, not all countries are covered. I for one would have loved to have seen some SriLankan & Ethiopian dishes in the book and more recipes from South Africa and South America.

But it would be difficult to create a truly comprehensive book on world cuisine that will satisfy everyone.

Rating : 4 / 5

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