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The Restaurant Lover's Companion: A Handbook for Deciphering the Mysteries of Ethnic Menus Paperback – December, 1994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201406365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201406368
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,843,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on September 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Do you like to try new foods, new flavors, experiment with new menus? Do you go to ethnic restaurants? Baffled? Befuddled by the words, the descriptions, the cultural customs? I have your new best friend: "The Restaurant Lover's Companion."

I have had this book for years but never had a chance to use it. Now I do. Wow, this will be my future companion on those outings to ethnic restaurants. If you will look at the cover, each of those colored circles represents a different culture: French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Greek, Caribbean, Spanish, Middle Eastern, German, Vietnamese, and American Regional. The mystery of their menus is deciphered inside (borrowing from the phrase on the cover).

I'm skipping to the Indian section. First, a description of the foods of the North and South: North influenced by Moghuls--elaborate meat preparation, velvety sauces, mild flavorings, cooked in oil; South--vegetarian predominantly, spicy, even fiery flavorings, steamed, healthier.

A section is dedicated to the Principles of Flavor: "through the use of Indian demonstrates skill, creativity, and individuality." There is a paragraph on what to order to make up an Indian meal. A paragraph explains condiments and chutneys, garnishes, and pickles. Those items always confused me. Then follows the types of rice. A last side bar explains that dish of fennel seeds and cardamom seeds by the door. Take a spoonful on your way out. They aid in digestion and refresh the palate. Tips for eating with your hands is also explained. Lastly, signature dishes are listed and two misconceptions dispelled.

That was the introduction to Indian food. Next comes a section on appetizers, including all those Indian names and explanations and descriptions.
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