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The Bacon Cookbook: More than 150 Recipes from Aroud the World for Everyone's Favorite Food Hardcover – October 8, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470042826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470042823
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this exuberant parade of pork fat, there is no doubting the flap copy when it states that Villas, former food editor for Town & Country, has been beguiled by bacon since he was a boy. However, Villas's statement in his preface that staunch vegetarians and non-pork-eating religious traditionalists are haunted instinctively by the sensuous, irresistible enticement is about as nutty as his Bacon-Almond Cheese Spread (made with cottage cheese and chives). Nonetheless, there's plenty good to be had in these pages. An introductory chapter explains the difference between Salt Pork and Pancetta, Paprikaspeck and Bauchspeck, and provides a thorough list of mail-order sources. Breakfast choices range from a nifty ole Bacon Scrapple to a rich French Cheese and Bacon soufflé. There's a BLT, of course, but most of his other sandwiches go to extremes with ingredients like Jamaican smoked fish. For those who sometimes eat vegetables, there is Lima Bean and Bacon Casserole, and several amalgams mix a menagerie of meats, as in the Spanish Chicken, Bacon, Meatball and Chickpea Stew. Of the six dessert recipes, bacon-wrapped figs work, but Bacon and Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles would be hard-pressed to create irresistible enticement in even the heartiest of carnivores. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

With his typical evocative prose, Villas, author of a dozen other cookbooks (including The Glory of Southern Cooking), asks, "Who, under any circumstances, is not rendered almost helpless by the tantalizing sound of bacon sizzling slowly in a skillet, by the taunting backwoods aroma that permeates the air...?" He opens with a guide to "the international world of bacon" (including pancetta, lard fumé, and other relatives), which is followed by mouthwatering recipes for all courses of a meal, from Lacquered Japanese Bacon to Portuguese Egg and Bacon Pudding. There are, in fact, several other cookbooks devoted to bacon, including Sara Perry's Everything Tastes Better with Bacon, but with its irresistible recipes and wealth of information and lore, Villas's new title is recommended for most collections. (Library Journal, October 15, 2007) 

 

“there is nothing standard about Villas book…shows the versatility of bacon…Vegetarians beware; these dishes could prove too tempting.” (Independent, September 13, 2008)


More About the Author

I was born and bred in the South, have 3 university degrees in language and literature (Fulbright scholar), and taught in 3 universities before changing careers and becoming Food and Wine Editor of TOWN and COUNTRY (1972-1999). I've published 15 cookbooks and 4 literary books on gastronomy. My first novel, DANCING IN THE LOW COUNTRY, was published in 2008; my second, HUNGRY FOR HAPPINESS, in 2010; and I'm currently working on a dog novel titled THE BEAGLE PLAYS BRAHMS. My cookbook, PIG: KING OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE, won the James Beard Award for 2010, and my newest one, SOUTHERN FRIED, will be published in 2013. I live in East Hampton, Long Island, where I devote my time to writing cookbooks and fiction and pursuing my love of great music.

Customer Reviews

Every recipe in here uses bacon.
R. Friesel Jr.
I got this book as a gift and skimmed it before giving it to the couple.
T. Pietruszka
The recipes are great and it is easy to follow and read.
Elizabeth Jungk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Marie on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In response to the prior review, there's definitely much more here than just instructions on how to cook bacon -- the book includes recipes using bacon in all different kinds of dishes, even dessert, believe it or not! I always find James Villas's books to be thorough and well-written, and this one is no exception -- definitely a great gift for a bacon-lover!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. Friesel Jr. on February 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First of all: who WOULDN'T like a cookbook dedicated to bacon? Every recipe in here uses bacon. Or pancetta. Or lard fumé. Or salt pork... And the recipes are a good variety, too: appetizers, soups and stews, entrees -- even bacon-wrapped desserts.

A couple quick notes:
(1) Keep in mind that because this cookbook is about bacon, is dedicated to bacon, and is gourmet, it's going to all for some specialty varieties of bacon. Granted the introduction tells you a bit about how to work around this but the recipes will also say that it won't be the same without some specialized type of salt-smoked bacon only made in Western Canada.
(2) While most of the recipes are ones that are sure to please, quite a few of them also call for organs -- liver and kidneys. Be warned.
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Format: Hardcover
The Bacon Cookbook is a bacon lover's delight. At first glance it looks like it could just be a novelty cookbook that one might not actually cook from day to day, but after spending time with this cookbook it is clear that this is not the case at all. It's full of interesting, unique, and classic recipes that will allow you to use bacon in all kinds of diverse ways.

The book begins with a comprehensive introduction on bacon that tells you almost everything you would want to know. It discusses what bacon is, the history of it, international styles of bacon, how to buy and store bacon, etc. It also has a pretty extensive list of mail order sources for premium bacon if you want to go beyond what can be purchased in your area. It was pretty exhaustive and enlightening. The only thing I wish it had covered was recipes to make your own bacon. This is what would have taken the cookbook from 4 to 5 stars for me. It would have been especially great to have recipes for some of the artisan and more unique bacons called for in the recipes incase you cannot find them in your area.

The rest of the cookbook covers recipes for appetizers, breakfast, soups and chowders, salads and sandwiches, casseroles and stews, main courses, vegetables and fruit, pasta and rice, breads, and desserts. I was really impressed with the breadth of recipes offered in this book. You'll find some great classic American recipes in here, but there are also dishes that draw from international cuisine as well as fusion dishes. I really appreciated that there were a lot of recipes here that I hadn't seen in any other cookbook (and I have a pretty extensive collection) so even if you have a lot of cookbooks you won't feel like you've seen everything in here before.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Burgess on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There truly are some wonderful recipes for bacon in this book. The discussion of the world's varieties of bacon is excellent, but too brief.

I am lucky enough to live in a place in which I can get a pretty wide variety of bacons, including Eastern European and Asian, but not so lucky looking for the different bacons of Canada or the British Isles (including Ireland). That means I have to order online, something I'm a tad reluctant to do with perishable foods. That's my problem and my loss, though, not the author's.

The greatest fault I find with the book is that in many recipes, bacon is used in trivial amounts--two slices for six people? They're recipes for dishes that use bacon as an accent, not the featured item. I'd have like to have seen more recipes for things like boiled bacon or confit of bacon.

But, if you love bacon, you really can't go far wrong with this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Burgundy Damsel VINE VOICE on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed flipping through this book and look forward to trying a handful of the recipes, but overall I'm not coming away with a lot that's useful or new.

Many of the ingredients for these recipes (including the called for varieties of bacon) can be hard to find or quite expensive depending on where you live. Other recipes are fairly common and things most cooks are likely to already have in their repertoires in some form - bacon cornbread, cobb salad, bacon & onion studded mac and cheese, etc.

If you like bacon, this book is well worth flipping through; you're almost guaranteed to find a couple new treasures for your recipe collection. If at all possible, however, I'd recommend checking out what kind of bacon selection is available in your area and flipping through a copy of the book at your local bookstore or library before buying to make sure it's worth your while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Dorsch on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Bacon Cookbook is one of a whole slew of bacon-related books to hit the shelves in the last (approximately) five years, and I have to say it's very good. Because of my line of work, I read a great many bacon books and cookbooks and this one is in my top ten. Good recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Some recipes use a little bacon for an added punch of flavor; others use a lot. There are elegant appetizers, hearty main dishes, gorgeous breakfasts & brunches, and even--gasp!--lovely desserts! I don't mean desserts to go with bacon dishes, I mean desserts with bacon in the recipes. And yes, the Canadian bacon-maple syrup custard is to-die-for!

The book includes more than 150 recipes. A handful of them have photographs included; these aren't complex pastries that you need to see to understand, and there are certainly enough to tempt your tastebuds. The paper is glossy and will stand up well to abuse. The layout is clear and easy-to-read. There's an extensive index to both recipes and information. Plenty of information about different kinds of bacon is included, and recipes range from simple two-ingredient affairs (bacon-wrapped dungeness crab legs!) to somewhat more complex dishes (clams casino). I don't think anything in here is over-the-top in its complexity.

I absolutely loved the eggs in bacon cups (another two-ingredient recipe!), as well as the Philippine adobo. I can't wait to make more!
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