A Kitchen in Algeria: Classical and Contemporary Algerian Recipes (Algerian Recipes, Algerian Cookbook, Algerian Cooking, Algerian Food, African Cookbook, African Recipes Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File size : 2253 KB
- Publication date : April 1, 2016
- Print length : 143 pages
- Publisher : BookSumo (April 1, 2016)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01DRD7K8G
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1530879590
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,251,698 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My largest complaint is that the names of the dishes are only provided in their English descriptions rather than their local Berber/Arabic/French names.
Algerian cuisine is obscure enough to most Anglophones that we would not one day seek an Algerian cookbook because we wanted to experiment or recreate our favorite dish from an Algerian restaurant given that Algerian restaurants in the English-speaking world are uncommon.
Rather, the reader themselves are likely to have ties to Algeria. Perhaps they are of Algerian descent or they have married an Algerian. In such instances, it is preferable to know the native Algerian name of the dish. Measurements are provided in imperial units, which is suitable for American readers.
For example: "Cheesy Potato & Pickle Rolls" are actually a variety of "börek."
Overall, I recommend this cookbook.
1- Half the recipes do not even seem to be Algerian. Some recipes clearly bear no relation to the country as the ingredients used do not even exist there (e.g. hominy in the very first recipe, an exclusively central American ingredient). Others are clearly copied over from other Arabic-speaking countries, but I can vouch have no basis in Algeria (e.g. stuffed grape leaves).
2- As another reviewer mentioned, only English descriptions of the dishes are given as titles, not the Algerian names for the dishes, so one has to guess what recipe is meant (is "chickpea and egg pie" meant to be garantita? or is "chickpea souffle sandwiches"?). I've included photos of the table of contents with what I believe to be their corresponding Algerian names, for what it's worth.
3- The recipes are completely uncategorized, with desserts, main dishes, appetizers, sides all randomly mixed together. A common cookbook organization scheme of appetizers - sides - vegetarian mains - meat and chicken dishes - desserts or some such order would be extremely helpful.
4- The nutrition facts take up an enormous amount of space and could easily have been condensed down into a few small lines in small font, leaving room for more recipes. (see photos)
5- The introduction and the ending pages are blatantly copy-pasted from other cookbooks, with such lines as "In writing this book... I have taken the time to compile... the simplest and easiest classical Turkish dishes" (!!) and an entire page dedicated to social media links which, of course, don't work in a book (see photos).
6- The cover image (which should have been a red flag) depicts a chicken and rice dish which is nowhere to be found in the book, and doesn't even appear to be Algerian as rice is by no means a classical Algerian ingredient. It also leads one to think that the book itself will contain at least a few high quality images of the recipes, but alas, it is a black & white, cheaply-produced/self-published book and feels that way. I would rather pay more for a higher-quality publishing with glossy pages and a few images so I could feel good giving it as a gift. And while cheaper productions/self-publications have their place and their use, it's only fair to warn customers that that is what they're purchasing. The item listing contains absolutely zero description or contents beyond "It's time to learn the Algerian style of cooking". Hardly informative.
7- Not only are many recipes non-Algerian, the few that sort of are are so unrepresentative of the country's cuisine, it's baffling how they were included in place of staples and classics like mesfouf, lham lahlou, mtewem, doubara, bouzellouf, zviti, tchekhtchoukha (not to be confused with tchaktchouka), trida, berkoukes, jilbana, salade composee, salade macedoine, cocas, tcherek, bradj, qalb el louz, etc.etc.etc. Just baffling. I don't understand how an Algerian cookbook could contain "veggies with eggs", and not mtewem.
8- So many of the ingredient choices within the recipes themselves are also confusing. I understand that every region - and family - is different and there are 100 and one ways to prepare a recipe in any given country, but I've consulted every Algerian I know and none have heard of some of these. Hmiss (page 88, "warm veggie salad" [???]) drizzled with vinegar instead of olive oil??
I have to stop here because my OCD is driving me crazy the more I look at the book. Just so disappointed, I'm inspired to self-publish my own just to make the OCD go away. I really hope this is taken as constructive criticism, I don't mean to be critical, but it's best to stick to what you know when self-publishing, or at least provide *some* information in the listing to give customers a heads-up what they're getting into. If there's any way of getting a refund or a replacement with suggested edits, I would really, really appreciate it.