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What book about food or cooking would you love to find but haven't?

buttertart Dec 26, 2011 05:00 PM

I regularly torture myself by looking at the Japanese baking magazines in Kinokuniya bookstore in Manhattan - so many gorgeous things, too bad the only Japanese I can sort of make out is the kanji. I would be over the moon to find a book in English on the subject - either on home baking or on patisserie. Somebody please please write one...
How about you? What would you be interested in reading that as far as you know doesn't exist yet?

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  1. L.Nightshade RE: buttertart Dec 26, 2011 11:02 PM

    The book I want, I think exists somewhere, but I am not able to find it. I want a book that is like Madeleine Kammen's "When French Women Cook," but set in Italy. The Kammen book is partly a memoir, but it is also full of recipes. Each chapter, as I recall, is centered around a different woman, each in her kitchen, each in a different region. The prose is informative about the kitchens and the cooking, and each chapter is evocative of an enviably different time and place. Well, right now I'd like to find this book about Italy, but there are many cuisines and countries that I would love to read about in a similar format.

    11 Replies
    1. re: L.Nightshade
      buttertart RE: L.Nightshade Dec 27, 2011 10:33 AM

      That would be wonderful for any cuisine, wouldn't it?

      1. re: L.Nightshade
        kubasd23 RE: L.Nightshade Dec 28, 2011 03:03 PM

        I need to find Kammen's book then, and I am so with you on wanting that type of book for all different cuisines...

        1. re: L.Nightshade
          FED RE: L.Nightshade Dec 28, 2011 05:22 PM

          carol field already did it: In Nonna's Kitchen

          1. re: FED
            L.Nightshade RE: FED Dec 28, 2011 05:39 PM

            That looks like it might be just what I'm looking for! See, I knew it was out there somewhere, thanks FED!

            If other hounds know of books with this theme from other culinary traditions, please step forward!

          2. re: L.Nightshade
            itryalot RE: L.Nightshade Dec 29, 2011 12:57 PM

            Alibris has many of them as does ebay.

            1. re: itryalot
              L.Nightshade RE: itryalot Dec 29, 2011 01:05 PM

              I need names. It's a theme that is not easy to put into search criteria! Thanks in advance if you know books you can share.

              Or maybe you meant to reply to kubasd23 wanting the Kammen book?

              1. re: L.Nightshade
                itryalot RE: L.Nightshade Dec 29, 2011 04:39 PM

                Yes, sorry. Hit the wrong "reply"!

                1. re: itryalot
                  L.Nightshade RE: itryalot Dec 29, 2011 04:42 PM

                  Oh no problem! (But I was hoping you'd come back with a list of titles for me!)

            2. re: L.Nightshade
              Jay F RE: L.Nightshade Dec 29, 2011 04:12 PM

              I wonder if you might enjoy COOKING WITH ITALIAN GRANDMOTHERS, a newish book:


              Or perhaps Pellegrino Artusi: http://www.amazon.com/Science-Kitchen...

              1. re: Jay F
                L.Nightshade RE: Jay F Dec 29, 2011 04:28 PM

                Thanks Jay! I just put Cooking with Italian Grandmothers into my wish list, it looks like it fits my search criteria!
                The Artusi looks interesting too, it's probably in my future. I'm currently reading Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History), looking for something a bit more light-hearted for my next read.

                1. re: L.Nightshade
                  pdxgastro RE: L.Nightshade Dec 30, 2011 05:25 PM

                  At one point more people owned the Artusi than the Bible. So yeah.

            3. r
              Rella RE: buttertart Dec 27, 2011 09:13 PM

              I'd like to find a simple cookbook of maybe no more than a hundred recipes wherein one could find almost everyone recipe of interest to the majority of modern American cooks; but truly remarkable in their technique to make them the best that they can be.

              Where all ingredients readily available; straightforward ingredients; quick prep;

              Maybe I should look again at a 5-ingredient cookbook :-))

              A simple family cookbook - but no sloppy joes recipes.
              I've remarked to DH that if I find one recipe that I will make again from a book that I've purchased, it is worth the price of the book.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Rella
                ferret RE: Rella Dec 29, 2011 08:51 AM

                You just described Jane Hornby's "What to Cook and How to Cook It." It's designed as a beginner's cookbook (beautifully laid out by Phaidon Press, the same company that published the recent Ferran Adria book) with clear photos and instructions.


                1. re: ferret
                  Rella RE: ferret Dec 29, 2011 04:03 PM

                  Thanks for your suggestion. This is still not what I am thinking of probably because I'm thinking that even though I'm a part of the "majority of modern American cooks," as I may have foolishy stated above, what is mentioned in this book (under Weekend) is not what I'm thinking about. Perhaps I'm wrong in that I'm not in the majority of American cooks because here are the recipes under "Weekend" I would not ever make again or even care about to make again:

                  "coq au vin, creamy fish pie, roast chicken with lemon and leek stuffing, eggplant parmigana, chicken pot pie, fish stew and roast pork." I know, I know, everyone makes roast pork - but who has the best technique for what cut.

                  One reviewr says

                  "This is a new, delightfully laid-out and easily understandable cookbook which proceeds on the assumption that everyone is new to cooking."

                  That is not me.

                  What I want is "each recipe truly remarkable in their technique to make them the best that they can be." A compiler of recipes -- not a media type person, not a cookbook author who is doing a new best seller taking from this chef or that chef, but a person who can judge what is the best of the simplest and put it into a cookbook. I don't care if it is a boiled egg or mashed potato or a chocolate cake.

                  I like your suggestion, but I'll bet it's not what I'm thinking of.
                  Thanks again.

                  1. re: Rella
                    ferret RE: Rella Dec 29, 2011 04:11 PM

                    Don't sell it short (or mistake "simplified" as "simple"). The Ferran Adria Family Book is laid in a similar "cooking for dummies" but that doesn't mean that either book is an oversimplification. I have been cooking for 40 years and consider myself to be well-above average in skills but I appreciate that the books take nothing for granted as far as the reader's skills are concerned.

                    It's money well spent.

              2. m
                montrealeater RE: buttertart Dec 28, 2011 08:24 AM

                I heart this thread and hope it gets more replies. I'm with Rella on the cookbook I want. I've been gifted a couple of Nigel Slater books and in some aspects they come close to what Rella describes, but there's often one or two ingredients that require a special trip, and I haven't had much use out of either book (possibly my own fault).

                Buttertart - I didn't know I wanted your book, but now I do. I would SO buy that book, and hope it has a lot of lavish photographs.

                Hmm. I'd also like a cookbook like what Rella describes, but for Japanese cuisine. For westerners. I'm trying to get into Japanese cooking at home and it would be ncie to have a single cookbook to work from.

                11 Replies
                1. re: montrealeater
                  buttertart RE: montrealeater Dec 28, 2011 02:35 PM

                  Have a look at Elizabeth Andoh's first book, maybe?

                  1. re: buttertart
                    L.Nightshade RE: buttertart Dec 28, 2011 02:59 PM

                    By first book, are you referring to American Taste of Japan?

                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                      buttertart RE: L.Nightshade Dec 28, 2011 05:38 PM

                      "At Home with Japanese Cooking".

                      1. re: buttertart
                        L.Nightshade RE: buttertart Dec 28, 2011 05:49 PM

                        Thanks, butteretart, I just ordered it. My shelf is woefully short on Japanese cookbooks. This sounds like a good start.

                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                          montrealeater RE: L.Nightshade Dec 28, 2011 08:47 PM

                          Thanks for the recs. Am i correct in assuming these are Japanese basics, and not westernized versions of Japanese basics? I want the former.

                          1. re: montrealeater
                            pikawicca RE: montrealeater Dec 28, 2011 08:57 PM

                            You will not be able to get the ingredients necessary to cook authentic Japanese cuisine in Canada, even using online sources. You will have to make many compromises. I prefer cookbooks that acknowledge this fact.

                            1. re: pikawicca
                              montrealeater RE: pikawicca Dec 28, 2011 11:02 PM

                              Even the basics? And I mean basics...maybe fundamentals would be a better word? We have a Japanese specialty store in this city and so far I've been able to find the things I need there (again, basic stuff - bonito, kombu, miso...).

                              1. re: montrealeater
                                buttertart RE: montrealeater Dec 29, 2011 06:04 AM

                                Of course you can get Japanese ingredients in Canada. We ate in a perfectly authentic Japanese restaurant in Toronto in the early 70s and the ingredients were in Chinatown stores then.

                                1. re: montrealeater
                                  BigSal RE: montrealeater Dec 29, 2011 08:22 AM

                                  My mom is Japanese and was able to make Japanese food in Minot, North Dakota (population 50,000) of all places. She certainly wasn't making sashimi, but she was making home-style Japanese food. If you can find katsuo bushi (bonito), kombu, miso, soy, sesame oil, ginger, and rice wine vinegar, it sounds like you are on your way. I do have At Home with Japanese Cooking too and it is a great start. Elizabeth Andoh does a great job with Japanese cooking. Gambatte kudasai!

                                  1. re: BigSal
                                    buttertart RE: BigSal Dec 29, 2011 02:19 PM

                                    They have lovely fish in Montreal too. We're not talking about Rimouski here.

                                    1. re: BigSal
                                      wyogal RE: BigSal Jan 4, 2012 08:32 AM

                                      Hey, I'm from Minot! I moved away in '79. Do you still have family there? How have they fared this year????
                                      If you can make Japanese food in Minot, you can make it anywhere!!

                    2. BigSal RE: buttertart Dec 29, 2011 08:29 AM

                      There is one book in English that touches on Japanese baking. It is not as comprehensive as the baking magazines you refer to, but it is a start. The book is called Okashi, Sweet Treats Made with Love, by Keiko Ishida, although I have not made anything from it yet. Milky madelines sound wonderful. http://happycup.blogspot.com/2011/04/... Many swiss roll recipes and other desserts with a Japanese twist (green tea tiramisu). That being said, it'd be nice to see more of these kinds of books in our market.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BigSal
                        buttertart RE: BigSal Dec 29, 2011 02:16 PM

                        Oh boy, thank you! Next stop Amazon. It would be wonderful if more such books were published.

                      2. s
                        Sharuf RE: buttertart Dec 29, 2011 11:17 AM

                        I would like to find a good Swiss cookbook -- a real one.

                        I have one -- the recipes are OK -- but it's written by an Englishwoman and must have been subsidized because it has commercial-sounding pitches for hotels in it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sharuf
                          buttertart RE: Sharuf Dec 29, 2011 02:17 PM

                          Another dream - a Swiss baking book. Mr Malgieri, please!

                        2. L.Nightshade RE: buttertart Dec 29, 2011 02:26 PM

                          Hey buttertart, just wanted to thank you for starting this thread. What a great idea! It looks like I might have found the book I've been looking for, plus some other ideas!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                            buttertart RE: L.Nightshade Dec 29, 2011 02:39 PM

                            Excellent! I thought it might be useful and fun.

                          2. f
                            FoodPopulist RE: buttertart Dec 30, 2011 09:27 AM

                            A pan-Asian version of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, concentrating on ingredients that are not found in Western cooking

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: FoodPopulist
                              buttertart RE: FoodPopulist Dec 30, 2011 10:32 AM

                              Sounds like Corinne Trang's Essentials of Asian Cuisines would be right up your alley.

                              1. re: buttertart
                                FoodPopulist RE: buttertart Dec 30, 2011 03:01 PM

                                Thanks, that might actually be what I am looking for, especially if talks about ingredients cross-culturally and isn't divided into sections by region.

                            2. e
                              ellabee RE: buttertart Jan 4, 2012 08:04 AM

                              Our local cheesemonger is looking for books that focus on single cheeses, with the history, etc. Doesn't have to be in English -- French, German, Italian, Spanish are workable. She's amazed at the lack, considering how long some of the traditional cheeses have been around. Any ideas?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ellabee
                                Rella RE: ellabee Jan 4, 2012 08:21 AM

                                Do you mean like this -

                                or this

                                1. re: Rella
                                  ellabee RE: Rella Jan 4, 2012 09:19 PM

                                  Thanks, but no. She's looking for books that cover a single cheese in depth, something almost scholarly.

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