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Culinaria Greece: Greek Specialties Paperback – October 15, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into chapters by geographic regions. Each region is described by the physical features that make it unique, the foods and ingredients that are special to it, and recipes are given for the dishes that define it. There are abundant sidebars about significant topics either historical, political or cultural in the region that have shaped the food or people.
Then there is the photography. Beautiful photographs of the landscape, detailed photographic charts of ingredients, appetizingly displayed prepared dishes, step-by-step series showing ingredients being made, and people lovingly portrayed going about their daily lives.
This book is BIG, no bedtime reading with this one, you won't be able to hold it up! If you love cookbooks for the way they tell the story of a country, the CULINARIA Greece is not to be missed.
I do love that the book is broken into different regions and I love the bit of history that goes with each recipe or region. The photography is also great.
The way most of the recipes are presented is within a monograph about a particular ingredient; first there's an essay on the ingredient and then a recipe or three at the end. This produces a book that's a treat to read just for entertainment and also seems to work well for recipes since there's a good index in the back of the book. There are wonderful pictures... some of the countryside, people, ingredients all of which are really fun, but importantly, there's a lot of pictures of finished dishes accompanying the recipes. With foreign cuisine, that's so important.
I believe that someone completely unfamiliar with Greek cuisine could produce most of the recipes satisfactorily from the information, pictures and recipes in this lovely book. However, on the date of my review there is one four-star review (all the rest are fives) that cautions that the reviewer has had problems with every single recipe she has tried. It sounds like the problems she has had could be overcome if one has sufficient general cooking knowledge, but I appreciated the "heads up!" Unfortunately, I have not yet cooked from one of the recipes, but I will soon and report back by editing this review.
When I was looking for a Mediterranean cookbook, I found a bunch of books on the specific diet. I thought it was interesting, but I didn't want to think of my cooking styles to be a "diet". So I decided to look for Italian, Spanish, Greek, etc cookbooks. I read reviews on this one and decided I'd try it over the other. I am so thrilled that I did! I happen to enjoy reading cookbooks (weird I know).
This cookbook is not just filled with recipes from the entire country of Greece (p.5 is a map of Greece sectioned out with the names of the regions and each region is a chapter in this book), it is also filled with culture! As I'm reading through this book, I feel like I am immersing myself into the Greek culture.
As one who had the opportunity to immerse herself into the Greek culture of a fantastic family who owned a house in Athens and on Andros Island, I was able to become one of the family for about a week. I worked in their gardens and fished in their seas while on my vacation. I learned a few words and learned that I loved Greek food and culture. Reading this cookbook has me reliving my memories and wishing I could do it again!
The author discusses everything from livestock, to harvesting pistachios (I may not do that, but I can improvise), to why they die their Easter eggs red, to death rituals, and wineries. If you don't want to read through the culture and are just interested in a "fish" recipe or "pasta" dish then all you have to do is turn to p.453 to check out the Index of Dishes or flip the page to the English Recipe Index; if your feeling Greek (or can read Greek) flip the page to the Greek recipe Index.
I must say... this is my new FAVORITE read and cookbook... until I find another anyways.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great volume from Culinaria! This series is a wealth of information ranging from culture to techniques. All recipes are authentic. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Betty Junior
A very good book: great recipes, beautiful pictures and lots of additional useful information about Greece in general. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Natalie
Terrific, just like all the other books in the series. I am a real fan!Published 12 months ago by Maria Kelly
Too many photos and history for what I thought was just a good cookbook.Published 13 months ago by S. Britton