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The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites Hardcover – International Edition, March 10, 2003
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From the Inside Flap
As the enticing prelude to any entree, the tempting spark that begins a meal, appetizers offer a rich palette of ingredients and presentations for a cooks creativity and imagination. With a selection of 400 recipes, suitable for every occasion and skill level, from familiar and exotic locations around the world, The Appetizer Atlas opens up endless culinary possibilities. Featuring hors doeuvres and small plates from 96 countries and 28 different regions, The Appetizer Atlas is an indispensable recipe-by-recipe tour of the worlds peoples and customs.
Traveling from country to country, readers will experience such simple-to-prepare starters as Rum-Marinated Fried Chicken Drumettes (from the Dominican Republic), Potato Dumplings Stuffed with Ham and Onion (from Sweden), Yam and Fish Cakes with Red Chile Sauce (from Nigeria), and Garlic-Braised Spareribs with Preserved Black Beans (from China). A feast for the imagination as well as the palate, The Appetizer Atlas includes detailed maps of each region as well as color photographs of plated dishes. Arranged as in an atlas by geographic location, the book reveals the unique culinary character of each country as expressed in its ingredients, produce, common cooking methods, and techniques. Clear, itemized instructions for preparing in advance (such as marinating overnight), assembly method, specialized techniques, as well as food pairings turn the artistry of appetizer creation into practical, easy-to-follow steps.
Set against a colorful backdrop of each regions history, native produce, and culinary influences and development, the recipes in The Appetizer Atlas are living reminders of the common heritage of delicious, inspired cuisine shared by all nations the world over.
From the Back Cover
Reinvent your culinary imagination with The Appetizer Atlas
"Comprehensive and eminently useful . . . great for lifting your party from the doldrums of predictability. I am already stealing ideas."
Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cooks Tour
"A must read. . . . Every restaurant kitchen and home should have a copy of The Appetizer Atlas."
Dean Fearing, chef and author of The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook and Dean Fearings Southwest Cuisine
"Meyer and Vann deliver a dazzling array of little treasures with big flavors. Browsing through their creative recipes made me want to nibble my way around the world."
James McNair, bestselling cookbook author, International Association of Culinary Professionals Award of Excellence honoree
"The excellent recipes . . . are matched by a top-notch bibliography and a glossary that instructs and inspires. BRAVO!"
Antonia Allegra, CCP Director, The Symposium for Professional Food Writers
Top customer reviews
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These recipes are perfect for serving at more formal "theme" dinners, and also for serving casual as "comfort food".
The recipes, with simple to complex flavors, are a a great complement to such books as "Hors D'Oeuvres by Eric Treuille, which has even simpler recipes, more pictures, with more of an emphasis on bite-sized portions, ideal for fast and good appetizers. Enjoy both books!
THE APPETIZER ATLAS:
A World of Small Bites
By Arthur L. Meyer and Jon M. Vann
In Spain, appetizers are called tapas, in France canapés, in North Africa mezze and in Hong Kong, it's dim sum. These days when so many of us order a couple of appetizers to make pleasing meal, this book comes just in time.
In the Atlas, authors Meyer and Vann, each seasoned chefs and experts in global regional cooking, track the history, geography and culture of foods from North America to Southeast Asia, from the Middle East to the UK. They are as professionals appealing to chefs as well as serious home cooks.
The physical arrangement for this 624-page, 400-recipe food book is superb. Twenty-eight chapters feature separate regional cuisines. They are sequenced geographically. Historical/geographical introductions open each chapter. The book's detailed 27-page glossary plus 20-page bibliography well document this important work very well. Each researched and kitchen-tested recipe comes with step-by-step instruction, handy chef notes, pointers on advance preparation and simple guidelines for expanding number of servings. Occasional color photos stimulate a good cook's appetite.
From North America's Southwest, find their Warm Cheese Dip with Chiles which is a savory blend of blanco, jack and longhorn cheeses, Roma tomatoes, chipolte chilies, adobo sauce, heavy cream and Ancho chili.
From Mexico, they present Wild Mushroom Turnovers with Tomatillo-Mushroom Sauce highlighted with epazote leaves and Serrano chilies.
From the Dominican Republic comes Rum-Marinated Fried Chicken Drumettes with soy, orange, lime, hot paprika and other seasonings.
From Costa Rico we find Angel Hair Pasta (Fideo) and Three-Cheese Flan which combines butter with farmer's cheese, Muenster cheese and Parmesan cheese touched off with a Serrano chili tomato sauce.
From Argentina they present Beef Pie with Apricots, sirloin served with pungent spices, wine, raisins and apricots.
From Brazil, exciting Bahian-Style Mussels come with malagueta chilies, lime, wine and coconut milk.
From Hawaii, Marinated Sea Bass in Lime Juice and Coconut Milk with the thickened coconut milk Thai green chili, green papaya and crisp greens.
From Malaysia, Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant Curry with Pineapple in Lacy Pancakes, a dish with many spices, hot red chilies, tamarind paste and fresh ginger.
From Korea, Korean-Style Crab Cakes made with soy, sesame, crushed red pepper, rice and a carrot.
From China, Pan-Fried Potsticker Dumplings made with bok choy, pork, water chestnuts, Asian sauces, dipped in a soy, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame and chili sauce.
From Vietnam, Shrimp Pate on Sugarcane and Lemongrass, a delight made from tamarind paste, soybean sauce, chili paste, peanut butter and roasted peanuts with a pate of shrimp, roasted rice powder, salt pork, mint lettuce, cucumber and jalapeno chilies.
From Cambodia, Spicy Pork Bundles Wrapped in Lettuce, made with galangal, red chilies, peanuts Thai chilies along with lettuce, mint, basil, mung bean sprouts, cucumber and leek.
From Thailand, Beef Meatballs in Hot Peanut Sauce made with red curry paste, thick coconut cream, peanut butter, Belgian endive leaves and dry roasted peanuts.
From the Indian Subcontinent, Curried Shrimp with Tomato and Tamarind, ghee, fenugreek, fresh curry leaves and Serrano chilies.
From the Middle East, Lebanese Steak Tartare, made with tenderloin, spices, mint and pine nuts
From Tunisia, Olives Stuffed with Ground Beef in a Spice Ragout, a dish made with Tabil spices, tomato, lemon, harissa, large Sicilian olives, toasted fennel seeds and Anaheim green chilies
From North Africa, Rice-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Sole with Sweet and Sour Sauce made with white raisins, saffron threads, wine vinegar, orange flower water, cream of rice, almonds, ginger, Medijool dates and fish fumet.
From Scandinavia and the Baltic States (Sweden), Beef, Potato, Beet and Caper Sausage (Lindstrom's Beef) made with pickling liquid and paprika.
From Switzerland, Cheese Souffles in a Tomato Shell, Gruyere cheese and spices flavor the soufflés baked in hollowed, large tomatoes.
From Italy, Pumpkin-Filled Tortellini with Rabbit Sauce contains sage, mixed spices, balsamic vinegar, dry red wine, Parmesan cheese and finely crumbled amaretti biscuits.
From Spain, Garlic Shrimp with Sherry. This simple dish uses Anaheim chilies to accent the sherry flavor.
From France, the simple Sauteed Duck Breasts with Apples and Calvados in Pastry Cases
From Scotland, Pheasant and Leek Pies with Port Cream Sauce, utilize juniper berries, heavy cream and crimini mushrooms.
The Appetite Atlas will make a valuable addition to any food book collection.
© Marty Martindale, Largo FL, 2003
This cookbook will only really be useful if you want to serve a lot of meat. Admittedly, there are a few recipes in the book that aren't meaty, but 85 - 100% of the recipes from each region (i.e., Italy, North Africa, Central Europe) will contain *lots* of meat. And you won't just need the more traditional meats - you'll also need access to a full range of game and lots of fresh seafood to make good use of this book. While this is interesting, it isn't very practical in this time of fat-watching and calorie-counting, not to mention vegetarianism.
Also, this isn't exactly a thorough exploration of the world's appetizers. Most regions have 7 recipes. That means roughly 7 recipes from all of China, from all of Mexico, from all of Eastern Europe. This gets truly ridiculous in the "Indian Subcontinent" chapter, which claims to cover India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. That's eight countries in seven recipes! It's no surprise that the book barely scratches the surface of anywhere outside of North America, which is divided up by into eight different subregions, each with its own set of recipes. The contrast between the treatments given to North America and the rest of the world only serves to heighten the skimpiness of most of the chapters.
This book may be of use to the professional chef or caterer looking for more showy, meat-intensive appetizers with a vaguely exotic flavor. Home chefs will be dismayed to discover chiefly recipes they can expect many of their guests to refuse to eat. And anyone looking for a real survey of the world's starters will be distressed by the limited content and depth of this book.
This compilation of morsels from around the world is sure to tickle your palate.
It's packed with offerings that are eclectic and easy to make, such as maple glazed baby back riblets, or the leek, bacon, and Emmentaler tart.
Dining with your friends using treasures from this cookbook is like going on a world tour, without leaving the comfort of your own kitchen.
The attention to preparation and presentation is outstanding and easy to follow.
I'm looking forward to our next meal prepared from this great cookbook!