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Seductions of Rice Paperback – April 5, 2003
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The authors are photographers as well as writers, but their greatest skill may be to travel the world at the level of the culture they visit. They seem able to drop away from Western culture and hunker right down with rice vendor or cook, no matter where.
Seductions of Rice opens with all the basics of rice, everything a reader would want to know and then some. Then on to the cultures of rice: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Central Asian, Mediterranean, Senegalese, and North American. Recipes either made from rice or to accompany rice range from Chinese Congee to Thai Green Papaya Salad to Japanese Quick Morning Miso Soup to South Indian Lentil Stew to Cuban Black Beans to Mexican Green Rice.
And in between? The authors fill in all the space between these diverse grains of rice with traveler's tales from the road. It is a luxurious book, a delicious book, a ripe combination of travel and taste. You leave off thinking that the world must be the shape of a rice ball. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This has the most comprehensive inventory of rice types that I have seen. For example, I have only recently found a source for red rice; this book distinguishes between Thai red rice, mahogany rice, Bhutanese red rice, Himalayan red rice, South Indian red rice, South Asian red rice, Vietnamese red cargo rice and Wehani. Reading the differences, even without knowledge of what red rice I bought, allows me to adjust the recipes conservatively so that I don't over-cook, over-power or otherwise mutilate my find.
The recipes are well chosen; many of the recipes are not rice recipes but dishes to accompany rice. This gives the book a greater range than its title might imply. The stories of learning the worldwide recipes on site add to the enjoyment of the recipes; they provide a travelogue of the search for new rices and rice uses. They are accompanied with excellent photographs of growing, harvesting, and cooking rice.
Recipes come from Italy, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, India, China, USA, Senegal, Persia, Jamaica, Spain, Uighur (Russian-Chinese border). There is an index by the geographic region which allows the book to serve as an ethnic cookbook.
This is a cookbook to read and to use. I definately recommend it.
As others have said its part cookbook, part travelouge organized by geography. I found this to be an interesting combination. I bought the thing for the reciepies but find myself enjoying the travelouges while search through it for my next meal. I don't know, it just seems like you get more out of the dish that way.
At the beginning of the book it tells a good chunk about history, cultivation, physiology and processing of rice. This was quite informative. Things like the advantages and disadvantages of hulled vs unhulled rice and rinsing rice before cooking. No perfect solution, just valuable information based on your needs.
The receipies are of course the meat of the book. When I first opened it up I figured it would be 300 ways to prepare rice or something like that. Far from it. Many (say half or more) of the dishes are not rice dishes at all but meals or snacks that you would eat with rice. So while it does have some rice specific dishes its really more of a cookbook that samples dishes from around the world. A good chunk of them are winners, far higher hit rate than I see in most cookbooks.
The receipeis themselves tend to be easy to moderate in complexity. Having its international focus does call for some ingredients that you just wont find at your local chain grocery store. There are some good mail order sources in the back for some of the more shelf stable items. For items that need to be fresh they often suggest substitutes.
Its a great book, I really recommend it and its on my short list of go to books when I ask myself "What do I want to cook for dinner"
For some reason I was expecting one of those thin lightweight essay books on rice and was amazed to discover this is a large, very well made volume with a great deal of narrative and an immense number of recipes. The book is full of countless black and white photographs taken by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid on their rice hunts across the globe. There are also some wonderful color photographs taken by several professionals of food that looks so appetizing I was gaining weight reading the book. It is sufficiently well made and protected to last several generations of rice hungry families
The narrative text provides many dissertations on the varieties of rice and the cooking thereof, as well as many pastiches about the authors' travels and the people they met. Often the recipes themselves contain even more narrative. Much effort has been put into making the book of value intellectually as well as gustatorially. For the most part it is arranged geographically, with chapters on Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Central Asian & Persian, Mediterranean, Senegalese, and North American rice cookery. The obligatory (but often left out) glossary, mail order, bibliography and index sections are also present.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an informative book and interesting info, but it seems like the corners cut for not including all photos to be nice full colored will render this book not as useful or one... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JBP
I bought this as a gift for my husband. He was very pleased to receive it, and he has been pestering me with information about rice ever since. Read morePublished 7 months ago by HLS
Rice has always been my favorite starch. Even as a youngster when my schoolfriends were worshipping piles of mashed potatoes dripping with melted butter, I would rather a mound of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by By CJs Pirate
This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It teaches you the fundamentals of each regional Asian cuisine, which centers around the sort of rice used in the region.Published 17 months ago by Steven Miklovic
These books by Jeffrey Alford and his partner are just so wonderful, they have a number of them out and they all have great recipes and much education information about the areas... Read morePublished on February 13, 2014 by S. Plowman