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The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites Hardcover – March 10, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 cook’s 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 d’oeuvres and small plates from 96 countries and 28 different regions, The Appetizer Atlas is an indispensable recipe-by-recipe tour of the world’s 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 region’s 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 Cook’s 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 Fearing’s 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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (March 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471411027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471411024
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,348,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Everything about this book is impressive. The recipies are exhaustively researched and every region begins with a several page very entertaining description of the factors affecting the area's cuizine. Here and in the recipies themselves you will learn the spirit and letter of enjoying food in different parts of the world.
Flipping the book open to any page, here's what you see: first, the name of region and sub-region you are in, a very interesting synopsis of the dish and what makes it special. Right below this, is a very helpful section called "Chef's Notes", which tells you the secrets of proper preparation and what pitfalls to avoid.
The format of the recipies is elegant and easy to follow. Advance preparation directions are especially helpful. Optional ingredients are clearly marked and possible substitutions are noted. The preparation directions are very clear, giving you confidence that the author's have actually prepared the dishes and know exactly what to do and when.
Nevertheless, what really shines about this book is the actual appetizers chosen and the helpful way the world is subdivided. Reading over the names of the dishes alone will be enough to get you excited. As you dig deeper you will be drawn into the style and flavor of the region. The detailed and complete recipies found in this book which are packed with real information about the area and how to cook it is infinitely superior to the glib and hodge-podge collection that often passes for a cookbook. Buy this one and you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Hardcover
This 600+ page tome has a wonderful cosmopolitan approach and organisation to it's wonderful recipes for appetizers from around the world. The background information is very helpful and educational. The ingredients are generally readily available, prep time is reasonable, and instructions are clearly written. Although not necessary, I wouldn't mind if it had more photos in the book or on a website, as some of the appetizers are such appetizing eye candy!

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!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book to express my appreciation for Arthur Meyer's organic chemistry class. Oddly enough, I discovered that he had an entirely different life outside teaching.
The Appetizer Atlas is not only a comprehensize cookbook, but a good reference to the cutural aspects of cooking. Each section begins with a brief history of the geography and the culture of the region and how these contributed to the local cuisine.
Extensively researched and elegently concieved, this book is a smart buy.
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Format: Hardcover

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.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I requested this book as a Christmas gift because of all the glowing reviews and I love appetizers for entertaining. My husband and I are always looking for new appetizer recipes and especially like ethnic recipes. This book seemed perfect.

Well, it's not. I do not doubt that the recipes taste good. They are probably also not very hard to make, but many, many of the recipes require ingredients that are not easy to find. Some of the meats used are venison, quail, dove, and baby goat. Many spices are also hard to find. I know that almost anything can be ordered over the internet, but I need recipes that I can go to the grocery store to get the ingredients.

If you have access to ethnic markets, you may enjoy this book, otherwise

beware that you may have trouble making a large number of the recipes in this book.

One other comment, there are photos in the book, but some of them are placed nowhere near the recipe they are for.

On a positive note: the descriptions of the different areas where the food comes from are very interesting and really add to the book. All in all though, I wish I had not asked for this book.
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