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The Foods and Wines of Spain Hardcover – October 12, 1982

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

400 superb recipes--a delicious gathering of the traditional cooking of Spain with new ways of using exotic seasonings and unusual combinations, plus a comprehensive survey of Spain's excellent wines and sherries.

About the Author

Penelope Casas was one of the best-known and respected experts on Spanish cuisine. She wrote about food and travel in Spain for the New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Conde Nast Traveler and published six books on Spanish cuisine. The Spanish government awarded her both the National Prize of Gastronomy and the Medal of Touristic Merit, and named her Dame of the Order of Civil Merit. She and her Spanish husband guided culinary tours throughout Spain.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (October 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394513487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394513485
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Penelope Casas can be considered the guru of Spanish cooking, as she is a true expert on this nation's cuisine. I have lived in Spain and have traveled extensively throughout the country and I know the land and cuisine intimately. The Foods and Wines of Spain is a true classic and no one wishing to prepare authentic Spanish dishes will want to be without it. Casas has written much more than a book of recipes--she gives a lot of cultural information behind the recipes that is not only informative but highly interesting. You quickly discover how incredibly diverse Spanish food is, and how numerous cultures have contributed to Spanish cuisine. You soon discover that it is hard to define "Spanish" food, as it varies from region to region. There is a significant Arab influence found in dishes from Andalucía in the south, while the dishes of the north are compeletely different. Meanwhile, rice (introduced by the Arabs) dishes predominate in the the eastern part of the country. I have made many of the recipes in this book, all with excellent results--this is the real deal if you want to recreate the dishes you relished in Spain. I highly recommend the paellas, the tortilla española, the garlic soup, and the tuna turnovers (empanadillas). These and many other recipes make this a cookbook that you will return to again and again. I highly recommend this book to all fans of authentic Spanish cuisine as well as those interested in discovering this diverse cuisine. Most of the recipes are made with common, easy to find ingredients, are easy to make, and are well liked by a large number of people--my family and friends (most of whom are not Spanish) always look forward to my Spanish lunches and dinners with great enthusiasm!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In 1982 Penelope Casas published the finest book of Spanish cookery ever. It is now in its 11th printing. Although she has written other books on the cuisines of Spain, "The Foods and Wines of Spain" has biblical standing among cooks. For her culinary expertise she has been honored by the government of Spain, but more importantly, she had built a following of gastronomes of all stripes who swear by her recipes. Their authenticity is never in question: she is an indefatigable researcher who goes back to the kitchen and discusses things with the local artists and then includes those recipes and techniques in her book. If a few of the dishes don't taste exactly as they did in Spain it is because not all the ingredients are available here. Still, Ms. Casas gives advice about reasonable substitutes, and now that serrano ham and some chorizos are allowed to be imported, such substitutions can be kept to a minimum.
The book contains not one but two recipes for garlic soup, simple to make by even beginning cooks, and highly addictive. The "arroz a banda" described is one of the more subtle and satisfying of the rice dishes; and of course there is the paella (about which Ms. Casas has written a separate book). In this volume its recipe appears a bit intimidating, but it is essentially easy to prepare if one does not think too much about it beforehand.
For those cooks who need exact formulas and pharmacy-like precision in their ingredients, this book will please them. For those who are relativists with active imaginations, the book will also satisfy by pointing them in the right direction: pork chops with prunes, duck with olives in sherry sauce, baked porgy and peppers with brandy, chicken with figs. Yum.
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Format: Hardcover
Out of the many Spanish cookbooks that I own, Foods and Wines of Spain is by far the most authentic and informative. I lived in Spain for several years, and I know the country and its cusine very well. In Penelope Casa's book you will find authentic recipes from all of Spain's diverse regions. If you want to be transported instantly to real Spanish food, this is book to own. The recipes are easy to follow and generally require common, everyday ingredients found in most kitchens. I have made many of the recipes, all with great success, and as a result, I have converted many of my friends and family to the exciting world of Spanish cooking. More than just a cook book, the author writes of the culinary history of Spain, making this a truly interesting book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The great virtue of this book is its down-to-earth simplicity; you probably have the ingredients in your fridge and cupboards right now to make 60-70% of the recipes. What a relief, after putting up with the needs of many of today's slick cookbooks, e.g., flipping through a recent "simple" cookbook of a star chef in NYC, I discover I need 3 vanilla beans, fresh chervil, and grapeseed oil. Huh? Who the heck has the time to track this stuff down, let alone use it again in the next 3 years?
Ms. Casas has obviously been very careful to anticipate such problems; everything seems to have been tried over and over with the average US kitchen in mind. And amazingly, the dishes still turn out exotic and "Spanish." I have no ability to vouch for authenticity, but who cares; the bottom line is that these recipes work and are absolutely delicious.
I also appreciate the suggested accompanying vegetables and wine. Two favorite main courses: Rice and Chicken, Chicken with Pine Nuts.
In addition to the above virtues, Ms. Casas gives a straight-forward history for each of the recipes, giving context and conveying a keen intelligence and quiet passion that leave the reader wanting to try every single one of these dishes. The research is complete and stunning. There is no hype or filler. This book is a keeper.
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