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4.4 out of 5 stars
Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
Tapas are great and this is a great way to learn about them. A few points may help you use this book to the full. Often, in Spain, a dish is available as a tapa, a half order, or a full order. This is because a restaurant really wants you to stay and eat there and not leave to try somewhere else. So, if it seems like the portion is large, it is. You should either share it, or plan on making it a main course, not a tapa. Second, to get the true feeling of what tapas are, try doing a tapear yourself. Get a group of friends together and pick an area with a number of restaurants. Then, start at one, have a drink and a something to eat, either an appetizer or an entree shared among the group. Talk and enjoy then, move on to the next place an repeat. This is a great way to spend an evening, and you don't even have to go to Spain. Then try at home with several of the recipes from this book. You will have a much better idea of what tapas are all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2014
For all the acclaim Jose Andres garners as the chef known for bringing tapas to America, I found this book disappointing. I must admit that much of this is due to the way the book is crafted. Virtually none of the presentations are appetizing (surprising to me considering Chef Andres spent some time alongside Ferran Adria). The plating just flat out fails. Many dishes are photographed on clear plates, looking at times like they are sitting on the tabletop itself, sans china (an unflattering trend, especially when so overused). Many recipes are accompanied with tiny photographs only 11/2 inches square. For me, it just didn't succeed as a cookbook. I expected more from someone having been recently named Chef of the Year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great tapas book! Lots and lots of great recipes. Easy to follow instructions. Great pictures.

Jose provided recommended alternatives for hard to find items. Which is very nice when you aren't able to find everyday Spanish items at the Piggy Wiggly.

I love the commentary by the author. He talks about how it "is" in Spain. I especially love the reminiscing about being in the kitchen with his mother.

The wine recommendations are outstanding and something that you are actually going to be able to buy in a local store. He turned us on to: Finca Luzon 2005 Altos de Luzon Red Wine. Which is reasonably priced (around $12) and outstanding. It's one of our favorite reds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2008
I love this book! An entire chapter just for mushrooms, fabulous!! I love Jose Andres' restaurant, Jaleo in Washington, DC (Gallery Place metro stop). I was delighted to find out he has a cookbook. I would have bought the book just for the spinach with pine nuts recipe. I haven't tried many of the recipes yet, but if I can make them even one quarter as good as they do at Jaleo, my family and friends are sure to think I'm a culinary genius!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2007
José Andrés is a wonderful chef and teacher in this book devoted to the tapas of Spain. His recipes range from simple to fairly complicated but the flavors are amazing. His recipes are easy to understand and follow. The hardest part may be in finding some ingredients in local markets, but there are many recipes with items commonly found in your local grocery store. The book is nicely illustrated with pictures that make one hungry and ready to cook.
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on June 1, 2014
This cookbook has all kinds of great recipes for Spanish Tapas. The Spanish know how to enjoy food while relaxing with friends. They've got it mastered. This cookbook is full of all kinds of unique Spanish treats that are perfect for sharing. Many of the dishes are beautiful but they all taste wonderful! Some of the ingredients may be a little hard to find if you don't live near the coast (especially the seafood dishes) but there are plenty of others that are good too for those that don't have regular access to fresh seafood. These dishes are perfect for parties and any kind of gathering with lots of people. You are guaranteed to bring or serve something unique that many will not have tried before. So, you get a great dish to share and a good conversation starter all in one. Jose Andres is a Spaniard himself and also has a cooking show called "Made in Spain". He really knows his Spanish dishes and even covers specific cooking from different regions in Spain. Not only does he make beautiful, fabulous, and tasty food but he also connects with people in the making of his dishes. Each show is a cultural and food lesson on the different regions of Spain where you get to travel with him to the different regions. It's an educational and relaxing show. In each episode, you will walk away having learned a lot about Spanish food, culture, regions, geography and the people. The show is so wonderful and so is this book. You really can't go wrong with any of the recipes and you'll get to introduce your friends and family to some new things too. We had a copy of this ourselves but just bought one for a gift for our family too. This book makes a great gift that others will be able to share as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
I love this cookbook. It beautiful and everything I've made has been amazing. I've always wanted to cook my way through a cookbook and this may be the one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
Excellent book to provide insight into Spanish cuisine and, in particular, tapas. The recipes work with clear description great results.
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on January 5, 2014
Chef Andres has some of the most interesting and creative food around, and his multitude of restaurants in the DC area speak to his versatility and ability.

This tome has a large set of interesting tapas (small plates) you can create at home ranging from relatively straightforward to create to challenging. His instructions are well-laid out and easy to follow if you have a modicum of cooking expertise. So far, the results from his recipes taste the way I would have expected them to taste and the guidance allowed for no "hiccups" in the production of the food.

Tapas itself is great for appetizers or, if you make a few, a great way to have a variety of dishes for a party. If you're at all interested in producing these small plates, this is a great cookbook to purchase.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2015
I'm an avid home cook and I've been thinking that a tapas party would be great for my next family gathering. I picked up this book as well as "100 Best Classic Tapas". for some ideas. The Jose Andres book was enjoyable to go through, and I will be able to use some of his dishes, but I would not be able to build a meal for 10+ people around this cookbook. Too many of the recipes require careful preparations that would preclude me from serving a crowd, even if I were to enlist the assistance of one or two of my more skilled guests. With access to only one oven and stovetop, I wouldn't be able to juggle 12-15 plates successfully. Many of the dishes are best served immediately and couldn't be prepared in advance. Also, careful plating is essential for many of the dishes to make them both attractive and appetizing, something that I absolutely insist upon. I hate putting a lot of time and money on something only to have it ruined in presentation.

On an individual basis the recipes are not terribly daunting and although some specialized ingredients are called for, substitutions are possible. If you are interested in serving a few people you should be OK, but creating a tapas party from this cookbook would require a kitchen staff at your disposal. In addition, you'd need a kitchen to support the activities -- prep areas, stovetop, oven space, deep fryer, and grill at least, all running simultaneously.

On that basis, I gave this 4 stars. If your needs are different than mine this book may suit you better.
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