Chinese stir-frys, Spanish paellas, Japanese sushi, Indian thorans, Thai salads, Turkish pilafs, Italian risottos, Senegalese yassas, American gumbos: if rice isn't the heart and soul of all these diverse dishes, rice can be found piled right there at the side of the plate, or in a bowl. To say that Alford and Duguid, authors of the award-winning Flatbreads and Flavors
, deliver the world of rice is much too simple an understatement. Your days of buying one rice to serve all purposes will end with even a cursory reading of this lovely book.
The authors are photographers as well as writers, but their greatest skill may be to travel the world at the level of the culture they visit. They seem able to drop away from Western culture and hunker right down with rice vendor or cook, no matter where.
Seductions of Rice opens with all the basics of rice, everything a reader would want to know and then some. Then on to the cultures of rice: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Central Asian, Mediterranean, Senegalese, and North American. Recipes either made from rice or to accompany rice range from Chinese Congee to Thai Green Papaya Salad to Japanese Quick Morning Miso Soup to South Indian Lentil Stew to Cuban Black Beans to Mexican Green Rice.
And in between? The authors fill in all the space between these diverse grains of rice with traveler's tales from the road. It is a luxurious book, a delicious book, a ripe combination of travel and taste. You leave off thinking that the world must be the shape of a rice ball. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
In their debut cookbook, the IACP and James Beard Award-winning Flatbreads & Flavors (1995), Alford and Duguid explored a wide range of ethnic cuisines using the traditional flatbreads of each as a springboard. Here the authors, who are married, do the same with rice, yielding similarly terrific results. As is explained in the introduction, there are two kinds of rice dishes represented here: dishes that incorporate rice (Grilled Sticky Rice Balls; Central Asian Rice and Bean Stew) and those that are served atop or with rice (Spicy Simmered Tofu; Savory Chicken Finely Chopped). Recipes are organized in chapters by country and region (e.g., China, India, the Mediterranean, North America) and they overflow with the information gleaned by the authors who traveled far in their research, their two young sons in tow. The chapter on India recounts the days they spent observing workers in a rice stall at an open-air market, as well as recipes for Ripe Mango Chutney, Banana Salad and various pachadis (yogurt sauces differentiated from raitas because the yogurt is heated). The chapter, "Gohan, Sushi, Mochi: The Japanese Way," describes the making of miso along with a Salad of Grilled Mushroom and Fried Tofu and Soothing Tea Rice. Unexpected flavor combinations (risotto with beer, Rhubarb-Lamb Stew from Persia) add extra spark to this comprehensive exploration, illustrated by more than 200 photos, which gains depth from Alford and Duguid's personal accounts and their infectious interest in the growing of rice as well as its use (Alford and Duguid are real agricultural geeks, and they love to share facts). This is a must-have compendium for any serious cook. 35,000 first printing; 12-city author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.