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Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables: A Commonsense Guide Paperback – June 8, 2010


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Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables: A Commonsense Guide + Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market + The Produce Clerk's Handbook: A Guide to Retailing & Handling Produce
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; Reprinted edition edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060916699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060916695
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As Elizabeth Schneider points out in her introduction, the immigrant culture of America is constantly restocking our markets and produce stores with "ethnic" fruits and vegetables that were hitherto unknown to any but the most worldly gourmets. Just as ginger, bean sprouts, and avocados were once strange, exotic substances, so Vidalia onions, fava beans, and passion fruit are becoming more common in stores nationwide.

In this magnificent, encyclopedic cookbook, Schneider discusses each of 80 fruits and vegetables, its origins, history, and appearance, its flavor, uses, and nutritional highlights. She tells how to shop for it and what to look for, how to store it and how long it'll keep, then she provides a selection of recipes (there are 420 in all) to inspire and reward your new culinary quests. Richard Sax's Hot and Sour Soup-Stew is a lovely way to try out Chinese cabbage, Sautéed Fennel with Lemon makes one wonder how one existed so long without it, and Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings and Bacon provide you with the wherewithal to enjoy this ultimate comfort food in your own home, even if you don't hail from down South. Schneider's Commonsense Guide is an irresistible reference. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this delightfully chatty, alphabetical guide to the many exotic fruits and vegetables now appearing in the local market, magazine food writer Schneider likens cherimoya to a "pre-Columbian jade pine cone"; suggests you meet broccoli raab "head on"; rhapsodizes over the "delicious, promiscuous" chili-pepper; and defends "slippery, slimy" okra. She tells how to select pomegranates and loquats, describes such oddities as malangas and feijoas, and offers brief biographies of the newcomers. Her recipes, collected from across the world, are as unusual as her subject: she includes five different ways to serve nopales (cactus pads) and six taro dishes. Even the relatively ordinary spaghetti squash can be much more than a substitute for pastaSchneider suggests baking it in an herbed cheese sauce. Most recipes are simple to prepare and, aside from their uncommon main ingredient, use items found in any well-stocked kitchen. Now there's no need to quiver in fear when faced with a calabaza: lug it home and enjoy! Illustrations.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The recipes are all practical, everyday meal recipes.
M. J. Smith
This book is very helpful even if one is familiar with and have grown up eating these kinds of fruits and vegetables.
C. Court
Information is detailed and specific for each vegetable and fruit.
Ralph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on September 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love this volume but would still place The Victory Garden as the first essential vegetable cookbook; then I'd place this as the second vegetable cookbook for a well-stocked kitchen.
The book is arranged alphabetically by plant. An index in the back allows you to find produce by an alternative name. An index in the front sorts the recipes by type.
To give an indication of its range the first few entries are: arugula, asian pear, atemoya, blood orange, bok choy, bolete, boniato, breadfruit ... The books gives a basic introduction to the history and geography of the plant, guides for selection and storage, basic preparation, nutritional value and recipes. For breadfuit, for a green breadfruit there is a salad recipe, for a medium ripe on there are soup and pudding recipes.
The recipes are all practical, everyday meal recipes. This book is an excellent guide for using the produce items that are more recently added to your supermarket produce bins.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "petersonreviews" on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Is there a special section in the produce department of your favorite up-scale supermarket that has mysterious new plants with unfamliar names such as atemoya, boniato, burdock or calabaza? Have you tried carambola, cassava, chayote or cherimoya? No?
If you had a book filled with descriptions of exotic fruits and vegetables would you try them, especially if the book has delicious recipes? Yes?
Then this is a book you should own. It will help you explore 80 different fruits and vegetables, some of them strange and delicious, others just strange. The book has about 420 recipes for you to try. Enough for you to find some new favorites.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Renee on January 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have an earlier edition of this book, and have really enjoyed using it. It includes background and the author's commentary on each fruit or vegetable (and, as one of the authors notes, not your "garden variety" fruit and vegetables, but unusual things like kumquats and quince that those of us who grew up on iceberg lettuce may not have encountered.) She also includes a sampling of recipes for each item. The recipes have the author's usual creative flair, and all the ones I have tried have been really great. But, unless I was really more interested in the fruit part of the equation, I would look into buying her new vegetable book first. It was just published in December 2001, and would therefore be more current. There has been so much change in bringing some of the more unusual foods to market that it may make most sense to have Schneider's most recent book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The cover says "from arugula to yuca," and this book has recipes for everything in between: boniato, carambola, lychee, quince, and more common produce like sweet onions, mustard greens, mango and kiwi. Recipes are practical, easy to use, and there's a description of each produce item with hints on how to select it, how to store it and how to prepare it. I already have a copy; I'm buying one now as a gift.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Court on July 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have the original of this book and find myself constantly reviewing it every time I come back from the tropical food markets. This book is very helpful even if one is familiar with and have grown up eating these kinds of fruits and vegetables. This book provides americanized recipes which is good because aside from being nutritious, most of these fruits and vegetables are beautiful and aesthetically presentable. You can serve fruits and vegetables that do not need to be masked by some gumbo-colored sauce. If you are the kind of cook who likes to serve beautiful dishes this book comes handy. You don't even have to follow the recipes just to use the vegetables. Once you become familiar with the vegetables you will discover how compatible they are with the common vegetables found in your regular supermaket on a dish of your own recipe. For example you could prepare a chicken dish with sliced tomatoes, potatoes, red and green bell peppers,carrots and bok choy with thickened chicken broth with your own choice of spices. The book details the following for each fruit and vegetable: Scientific name, description, beautiful illustrations, selection and storage, preparation and nutritional highlights.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Brady on November 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I began to browse through Ms. Schneider's book because I had some unusual fruit on my hands that needed to be cooked. I became ENTHRAWLED by the fascinating information about vegetables and fruit from A to Z, but not our usual apples and oranges varieties. I couldn't put it down. I will be giving this book to everyone I know!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Persimmon on March 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess I should not have expected photographs since the product description mentioned nothing about photographs but because the cover was a photograph of fruits and vegetables, I did expect some. Instead, each fruit and vegetable is preceded by a small but nice illustration that easily identified the subject. (black and white). The book is easily understandable and very informative. I think I will also try buying Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference: 500 Recipes, 275 Photographs by Schneider after I have read through this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Vegetables-Amaranth-Zucchini-Essential-Photographs/dp/0688152600/ref=pd_cp_b_1
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