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North Atlantic Seafood: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes Paperback – April 14, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


"Mr. Davidson . . . has vast, multilingual acquaintance with the cuisines as well as the fishes of the world." -- Barbara Kafka

From the Publisher

•The original edition of NORTH ATLANTIC SEAFOOD received the prestigious Glenfiddich Gold Medal award and the André Simon Award.

•With over 100 line drawings and 200 regional recipes, this landmark volume is an essential part of any serious cook’s library.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 3 edition (April 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580084508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580084505
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
`North Atlantic Seafood' and `Mediterranean Seafood', both by noted culinary writer Alan Davidson, the author of `The Oxford Companion to Food' are reference books which a serious cook must have in their library where time is spent deciding on what to eat rather than time spend actually cooking. These books belong to a rare breed of books in English such as Elizabeth Schneider's `Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini' or `Bruce Cost's Asian Ingredients' which thoroughly cover a broad single subject or the `Larousse Gastronomique' which gives an overview of virtually every culinary subject, at least from the point of view of French cuisine.

Both books are organized in the same way that gives primacy to information on the aquatic species and secondary coverage of recipes.

Biological family, genus, and species organize the first part on the catalog of species in order that the biological similarity of the fishes is clearly shown. Each article gives the most common English name, the two part Latin scientific name, the scientist who assigned this name (most commonly the great inventor of biological Taxonomy, Linnaeus), the biological family name, and the common name of the fish in virtually every language of the major fishing nationality bordering the relevant body of water. The North Atlantic species, for example, are named in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and others such as Gaelic (Irish). The Mediterranean species' names are given in French, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Tunisian, Turkish, and others such as Bulgarian, Romanian, and Russian if, for example, the species is most commonly found in the Black Sea, which is included in the coverage of the Mediterranean.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1997
Format: Paperback
An unusual format for a cookery book, or for a
catalog of marine life. In fact, it's both -
the first half of the book is a catalog of marine
species arranged by family (flatfish, molluscs,
etc.), while the second half is a catalog of
recipes for them, grouped by country of origin.

Although ostensibly North Atlantic in scope, the
tome omits some species which occur also in the
Mediterranean (the reader is referred to the
author's book covering that sea's life and
cuisine). However, Baltic Sea species are
included, although most of them are actually
freshwater types, due to the low salinity of the

Common names for most species are supplied in
several languages, according to the distribution
of the creatures. Differences in regional naming
are also noted. Fine sketches of each subject are
accompanied by notes on distribution, habitat,
etc., and pointers to appropriate recipes.

In the cookery section, there are no sketches, but
many of the recipes are accompanied by anecdotes
from the author's many travels. The instructions
are brief, but complete enough for successful and
tasty dining. In arranging dishes by geography,
each nation is represented only by a fraction of
its seafood, and some could easily be ascribed to
several countries.

In summary, a very good book (if you can find it).
It would be enhanced by use of colour instead of

of black and white pictures, and addition of some

pictures in the recipes section.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stavros Macrakis on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
All the commonly-eaten fish and shellfish of the North Atlantic are covered in this wonderful reference and cookbook. As in his Mediterranean Seafood, each animal's entry includes an old engraving (better than a photo for identification -- except for color), its scientific and common names in various languages, a description of the animals habit's and culinary qualities, and a reference to recipes.
Recipes are organized by country, and are well chosen and edited. The only criticism I might offer is that it is hard to find recipes by type. That is, it's very easy to find recipes for mackerel or recipes from Portugal, but it's hard to find all the baked-fish recipes suitable for a dark-fleshed fish.
A great book like this should never be out of print!
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By Jackal on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you (1) live close to the North Atlantic and (2) love fish and shellfish and (3) have a bit of geeky interest in details (maybe because you do your own fishing), this book is for your. All edible seafood in the North Atlantic is catalogued in this book. The book also offer a dictionary of species with translation to many languages.

If I offer critique I would say that the biological description of each species is fine, but that the culinary description could be improved. There is a recipe section (typical national dishes) and the culinary values are also identified when each fish is discussed. See, this is a book for fish geeks.
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