Customer Reviews: Burma: Rivers of Flavor
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on November 25, 2012
I have a great collection of Naomi Duguid's books, and was excited to receive this book via amazon Pre-order. Beautiful cover, brilliant photography, and interesting stories. The recipes are unique, but not too overly complicated, making this a practical cookbook as well. Highly recommend.
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on September 27, 2013
I am an avid reader who never buys a novel. But I can sit up half the night browsing a new cookbook. My collection over the years includes all of Naomi's previous books, and I didn't hesitate to pounce on her newest. I didn't read for very long though before I was browsing the pantry to check ingredients, and after a quick trip to an Indian and an Asian grocery I was ready to cook. I spent a few minutes preparing a few items as she suggested, and then spotted the Shan Tofu recipe - unbelievably easy. Shan Tofu Salad followed. The flavor and texture combinations have me hooked. As promised, heat is added with a light hand, and I have found everything I have tried to be most enjoyable.

The book is beautiful with Naomi's excellent photography. And her narrative reveals a culture that is unknown to the modern world. And perhaps most striking, intentional or not, she has created a beautiful tribute to women. Very few men appear in her photos. Her stunning portraits of women attest to grace and dignity seldom seen in today's world. Well done.
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on January 17, 2013
This cook book contains authentic ways of cooking Burmese dishes. I found it very useful and use it as a guide to cook my own Burmese dishes. I can easily understand the ingredients and measurement in all recipes. The book covers a lot of traditional ways to make a great Burmese dish. Love the photos taken in casual atmosphere rather than a cook book style. Recommend anyone who like to cook true Burmese dishes and read it as a travel guide also!
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on January 20, 2013
After seeing Burma: Rivers of Flavor pop up on review lists everywhere I thought I'd give it a try. I am a huge fan of Burmese food and a lover of Burma Superstar in San Francisco (though, I'm aware that might not be exactly authentic). So when I saw this book I immediately bought it. I spent a good hour reading and perusing the recipes and planning my menu. I settled on: smoky napa stir fry, silky shan soup shan village khaut swe and fried sesame bananas for desert.

First I will say that the only thing I would even consider making again would be the khaut swe- a tomato, turmeric and pork stew of sorts served over noodles. But even this was disappointing and the method of cooking the pork which is basically braising, leaves it tough and flavorless. Also, the recipe said it served 4-6, but my boyfriend and I easily finished all of it and this was only part of the meal. Many of the proportions I found to be wrong.

The silky shan soup, which I hoped might be a delicious, chickpea flavored soup was inedible. The recipe calls for mixing plain chickpea flour and water -that's it. Of course you add noodles, vegetables and seasonings on top but the soup base itself could be described as nothing better than gruel. I tried to save it by adding all kinds of spiced but ended up throwing the whole thing away.

The smoky napa cabbage stir fry seemed simple enough: some garlic, ginger, chilies and cabbage. But the recipe tells you to pour in a bunch of water and fish sauce which made it soggy and had only faint hints of the smokiness the recipe promised.

The fried bananas could only be saved by heaping massive amounts of powdered sugar and lime on top. The recipe called for a full cup of sesame seeds which would have made the batter a solid paste- so I only used a quarter of what it called for. The use of tapioca and rice flour seemed unnecessary because the result was just bad-chalky and only barely enjoyable.

All in all, the book is interesting. The author does a great job explaining the different cultures and influences of surrounding nations. She describes the recent military coup and its downfall - all of that is interesting. But the recipes themselves seem like they were jotted down in a notebook by the author on her travels. And instead of testing the recipes - she simply adapted them from memory. I really wanted to love this book but it was a huge disappointment.
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on December 5, 2012
I found this latest of Alice Duguid's ethnic cook-journeys less academic and more accessible than those co-authored with Jeffrey Alford. It felt like a sister sharing her wonderful exploration of a remote culture.
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on September 10, 2013
This is a wonderful cookbook; as far as I know, it covers everything about Burmese cooking. I base that on the fact that I already have another Burmese cookbook, written by a Burmese woman and this book covers what she has in her cookbook plus more. Also in this book, you learn things about Burmese culture and it contains lovely photographs not only of the food but of the people, cultural sites, and street scenes. There is a very good glossary of Burmese ingredients. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the food and culture of Burma.
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on September 12, 2015
One of my favorite cookbooks in my international collection. Naomi has put together *the* best English language cookbook on Burmese cooking. And it's so much more than just a cookbook, as she weaves in stories of Burmese culture and her travelogue throughout the pages. This is a book that fun to read from beginning to end, before you ever sit down to make any of the recipes. When you do get to making them, you won't be disappointed. Everything I've tried here has been fantastic. Most recently, I made a late summer supper pairing of lemongrass chicken soup and shrimp salad (with the addition of fresh tomatoes from my garden). It was very well received. This is an essential cookbook on southeast Asian cuisine to add to your collection.
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on November 18, 2012
an authentic, original,well written masterpiece of burmese cuisine from the various villages,of the region, using local products and timeless recipes passed down the generations from mother to daughter
an essential for any and all
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on January 1, 2015
I am Burmese myself, who used to live in Burma for many years. Yet, I'm still amazed by the presentation of this book. This book includes lots of wonderful photos that capture the beauty of Burmese (Myanmar) people, places, culture, and culinary. As a cookbook, this book also covers the basics of Burmese traditional dishes and the instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Not only does this book include Burmese dishes, but it also covers dishes from various ethnic groups from Myanmar. I have cooked several dishes already by following the instructions, and the dishes turned out very similar to the ones I used to eat back in Burma.
I thank Naomi Duguid for her hard work in capturing all the amazing photos of Myanmar, showing remote places which I even haven't been to, and publishing one of the best Burmese cookbooks! I have recommended a lot of my friends and family to buy this book. I'm very certain that I will keep this book with me as long as I'm alive.
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on December 21, 2013
I have all of the books she co authored with David and this book continues the culinary journey through Burma with beautiful photos and stories about the food, customs, and recipes of the country. I love to flip through these books even if I'm not looking for something to cook they are so informative and beautiful.
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