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4.7 out of 5 stars
The City Tavern Cookbook: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
I am a big history buff, so I love all of the facts that are written along with the recipes. I am not a master cook and figured the recipes would be difficult. That is not the case. I have made 4 so far and they have turned out great!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2010
It is somewhat ironic that one of the best books on traditional American cuisine is written by a German chef... but what a pleasant irony. Chef Staib has clearly established himself more than just a great chef and restauranteur, but a great historian.

Chef Staib effectively tells the story of American colonial life with an emphasis on the various influences on their cuisine. This story is colorfully depicted in The City Tavern Cookbook, together with an extraordinary collection of recipes that are extremely well written and easily executed by a home cook.

The City Tavern Cookbook allows anyone to experience the wealth and breadth of colonial American foods in their own home. Chef Staib's brilliant resurrection of City Tavern allows all of us to a unique experience of re-living a special aspect of early American life in a realistic setting, should we be forunate enough to venture to Philadelphia.

Although not from Philadelphia, I was born and baptized in the spirit of New England colonial America. Only now do I understand where some of the dishes cooked and served by my grandmother and mother came from. To me it was just good food that was familiar and comforting. Now I know that some of these recipes that I enjoyed have a deep heritage coming from our forefather's homelands and other influences of colonial trading.

I highly recommend this as the "go-to" book for true American cuisine.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
THE CITY TAVERN COOKBOOK: RECIPES FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICAN CUISINE discusses both the food and the social and political atmosphere of 18th century Philadelphia, gathering and presenting recipes for over 300 dishes from roasted duckling with chutney to a chocolate mousse cake made by Martha Washington. Color photos pepper a fine presentation for any collection strong in American cuisine.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2010
I love the recipes in this book. They are sophisticated in flavors but simple in technique and aimed at the family cook and family table. I highly recommend the accompanied DVD series "A Taste of History" that's available on the City Tavern website.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2011
I love the book and variety of recipes contained therein. It is important to note that the recipes are not the exact same recipes that are on the show, A Taste of History, at least the few that I have reviewed. The recipe for Beef Barley Soup is quite different but delicious nonetheless. The recipes in the book were adapted to today's modern kitchen as opposed to the hearth as used on the show.

It is a beautiful book with wonderful recipes and I look forward to trying many of them. This is a great book for anybody's culinary library!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
I went to UPenn and ate there, my son went to UPenn and we all ate there, now we can eat what is served there anytime we want. This is one of the oldest restaurants in all of America and is just as fabulous as it was in the late 1700s. The book is just great in recreating the authentic food that is served nightly in Philadelphia. You will not be disappointed in the results and the pictures and stories in the book make good historic reading on top of that. The founding fathers ate there and you to can taste the wonderful food even if you are not in Philadelphia. Go for it, you will not be disappointed at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
Love the simple recipes, getting back to basics. Cooking the way our ancestors cooked. Simple fare. Easy to do. Getting out the cast iron cookware our great grandmas used. Our family is getting away from boxed microwaveable processed "food" (if you can call it food. I call it chemical experimenting on you body). We purchase farm vegetables and fruits, meats from various stores and simply cook on our open fire put on our deck, duplicating Chef Staib's open hearth cooking.The flavor is fantastic and it is fun , like a picnic. We also use our indoor oven and range. We can eat much healthier and physically we feel alot better, more energetic too. We enjoy the food cooked this way and it really doesn't take that much more time to prepare. We spend alot more time on the deck enjoying the great sunshine ! Thank you Walter Staib, we love you and your tv show !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2014
I enjoy Chef Staib's show A Taste of History. He almost makes cooking at a hearth look easy. Thankfully, the book contains modern adaptations of those recipes. There are other recipes I haven't seen on the show. I haven't tried any of the recipes, yet. A lot of them use wine, which I love, but my husband doesn't, and there are several German recipes, which I will be trying. My favorite part of the book is that each recipe is preceded by a short history of the recipe, often mentioning a colonial cookbook author. This is just as much a history book as it is a cookbook. If you are from the Philadelphia area, you will probably know many of the places Chef Staib mentions.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2013
I am a worshiper of Chef Staib. I have patronized the City Tavern in Philadelphia where some of the most interesting food and beers anywhere are offered directly to you. I watch "A Taste Of History" on TV whenever I come across it - there's always the announcement at the end of each program that the dishes prepared on the show are taken from this cookbook. I just had to have this book. I found the book(s) on Amazon and ordered them. So far, I haven't found much of what I thought was in there. Some interesting and very good stuff, but my excitement is diminished. I still peruse it almost everyday, but still use other books and guides for my Taste Of History.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2014
Superb recipies and impeccable history. However, I was disappointed to discover the traditional cooking methods were omitted. The instructions were written for the comtemporary kitchen, and current appliances. Chef Staib is an American Treasure.
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