From Publishers Weekly
Wright continues his exploration of the Mediterranean region (after Mediterranean Vegetables and A Mediterranean Feast) with this investigation of tapas, antipasti, meze and whatever else one might call small dishes that start a meal. The recipes-and there are a generous 500 included-are uniformly excellent, but sometimes Wright's commitment to authenticity leads to too much exotica (Curried Cucumber and Lamb Tongue Skewers, Vols-au-Vent Stuffed with Veal Sweetbreads and Black Truffles), with too little space dedicated to clever but more accessible tidbits such as Spinach with Garlic Yogurt on Fried Arabic Bread and Rolled Yogurt Balls. Numerous recipes, such as Tunisian Lamb, Brain, and Fried Potato Frittata with Cheeses and Baby Octopus in Piquant Sauce call for hard-to-locate ingredients. Chapters are organized by type of dish, with two chapters dedicated to fried foods: the one on fried turnovers opens with four recipes for briks (North African pastries). Another chapter on cheese-based foods (despite Wright's earlier insistence that cheese "is too rich and heavy" to make a good starter) includes Taleggio Cheese and Buckwheat Flour Fritters from Lombardy. Although Wright provides copious information in headnotes and sidebars, there is one integral thing lacking. A long list of menus for parties of various types and an introduction that details the history of eating small dishes before a larger meal are helpful, but there is no indication of how to figure portion sizes when serving items such as Pizza Margherita, Stockfish, Fava Bean, and Potato Stew from Liguria and Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms as entrees.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Clifford A. Wright won the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year award and the James Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food in 2000 for A Mediterranean Feast (William Morrow), which was also a finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook of the Year award that same year. He is the author of fourteen books, twelve of which are cookbooks. Wright's articles on food and cuisine have appeared in Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and other magazines. He is a contributing editor to ZesterDaily.com. As an independent researcher, Wright wrote the food entries for Columbia University's Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and has published scholarly articles on food in peer-reviewed journals such as Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, Food and Foodways, and Gastronomica. Wright has also lectured on food at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, Boston University, Georgetown University, Davidson College in North Carolina, Loyola Marymount University, South Dakota State University, University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Culinary Institute of America, among other institutions. As a cooking teacher, he has taught cooking classes at the Central Market cooking schools in Texas, the Rhode Island School of Design, Institute for Culinary Education in New York, Sur la Table, and other cooking schools around the United States. His website www.CliffordAWright.com is one of the most-visited sites for people interested in Mediterranean foods. In 2009 he launched the Venice Cooking School (www.VeniceCookingSchool.com) with Martha Rose Shulman in Los Angeles, California. He lives in Santa Monica, California.