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The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 6, 2010


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, July 6, 2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535888
  • ASIN: B004I1JQ7U
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Almost all the recipes on offer here, from pickles to pastry, are doable in the humblest of kitchens..."
-The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Ken Albala, is professor of history at the University of the Pacific and author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, The Banquet, and Beans: A History. Visit his website at www.kenalbala.blogspot.com.

Rosanna Nafziger spent her girlhood working in the orchard and selling pies at market. Now she writes about old-fashioned cookery on her blog, Paprikahead.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
With the exception of pound cake this seems to be a rather good survey of basic cooking skills and recipes.
William D. Colburn
If you're the kind of person who reads recipes to see how others make things, but don't actually follow them exactly anyways, then you'll love this!
R. Haeckler
I wouldn't recommend this book if you aren't somewhat experienced in the kitchen, but everyone who has an interest in cooking will love this book.
acook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With `The Lost Art of Real Cooking' you can discover food that maybe your family thinks might only come from the store. If they or you wonder; how on earth can someone make this?, then you can actually do it.

However, there are no lists of ingredients, you have to read the recipes and even then the instructions will say: cut the tomatoes, maybe a dozen, or pull sprigs from fresh oregano, maybe rosemary too, put oil in a pan, maybe half a cup if you are brave. These are very personal recipes, sort of how your grandmother cooked, with a handful of this or that. As you turn pages, it looks more like a regular book, not a cookbook; but there are things you might never think of making.

This is for the adventuresome, make flour tortillas, or oatmeal porridge. There are hardly any pictures, you will have to know what challah bread looks like, but you can create medieval pork pie or beef jerky. Even snails are in here, but first you have to catch them and there is advice on how to do it and clean them. You can make butter without a churn too.

This can be a fun exercise for cooks and families. You can have an entertaining time making cheese, wine and beer and even reading some poems contained therein.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Any library strong in culinary history will relish this survey of real home cooking: recipes which cover such nearly-forgotten basics as cultivating wild yeast, making butter, rendering lard, and brewing beer. No fancy kitchen utensils are advocated, either, making this a fine, accessible survey for any who want to return to the basics without fuss or expense.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By William D. Colburn VINE VOICE on July 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no recipe for pound cake here. Kind of a shocking omission in my mind. But I love this book nonetheless.

It's a simple book of prose. There are no bulleted lists of ingredients, no special formatting, and almost no illustrations. Recipes are signed with a single letter identifying the author.

With the exception of pound cake this seems to be a rather good survey of basic cooking skills and recipes. You'll learn how to make miso (not the soup, the ingredient), cultured butter, bread, salami, and etc. If you're timid, or totally dependent on explicit and detailed instructions, well, you'll need to get over it. The approach to recipes is casual, not clinical. Just be brave, and go for it. It will probably work out just fine.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By knb53 on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received this book, and can't put it down! No, it doesn't have discrete lists of ingredients with specific quantities (unless the quantities are critical, in which case they are there), but I have lots of those already... This is more of a "food journey" read. One of the things that comes of this for me is a sense of confidence that "I can do this, because people have been doing it for centuries." Plus, most of the recipes are simple and straightforward, and if one has even a moderate level of cooking experience, adjusting the quantities of spices and seasonings based on taste shouldn't be an issue.

The main thing I'd like to say is simply that this is a really fun, enjoyable, easy book to read. It has some great culinary historical information that I find fascinating, and the sense I get reading it is that I'm in the kitchen with the authors on a Saturday afternoon just messing around with food. What could be better?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gayle from St. Paul on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those who like to read a cooking book rather than flip through recipes, this book makes cooking into an adventure. It explains what good cooks know through years of trial and error - the best way to cook game meat (braising, of course), how to render fat, how to make a good fish stock, pie crust, or smoked salami. This is truly a fusion of international and homestead cooking with recipes for koji and miso, stuffed grape leaves, challah, tortillas, paella, risotto & ravioli, crepes, creme fraiche and snails, sauerkraut and strudel, and ghee.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By acook on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book along with "DIY delicious," "Ideas in Food," and "Urban Pantry," and this book was by far my favorite. The book is not precise by any means and does something that no other cookbook I've seen so far do; they teach you to cook by look, feel, texture, and taste, and not by arbitrary measurements. The amount of ideas and recipes presented in this book are perfect to keep me busy for months. I wouldn't recommend this book if you aren't somewhat experienced in the kitchen, but everyone who has an interest in cooking will love this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Callie Koch on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Lost Art of Real Cooking walks readers through creating homemade food the way they were traditionally made: using authentic ingredients, methods, and tools. It teaches readers about food, its cultural origins, history and how to make the real deal at home using the manner which was originally followed.

It is a book for people who are truly passionate about food and cooking and have an appreciation for the way it was traditionally created. The Lost Art of Real Cooking covers everything from fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, grains, bread, drinks, and desserts. It begins with a gentle warning to the audience that the recipes in the book (which are written out in paragraph form rather than using the modern version which lists all necessary ingredients before telling how to incorporate them) do not cut corners and are probably not for the faint of heart in the kitchen.

The Lost Art of Real Cooking is an exceptional book for food-lovers who want to re-discover the origins of many of the world's basic dishes, ingredients and preparations.
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