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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 23, 2006, 10:25:25 PM PST
B. Templeton says:
This book has 28 5-star reviews in 2 months. For all but two of the reviewers, this was their first and only book review. This looks like a poorly disguised attempt at rigging reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2009, 7:04:53 AM PST
Janet Brown says:
Or perhaps these are people who love Vietnamese food, love this cookbook, and have full and happy lives that keep them from becoming Amazon top reviewers!

Posted on Sep 4, 2009, 12:51:17 PM PDT
I have not read the book but I do cook. It seems to me the only reliable review was the two star one that addresses how incomplete the book was. It is important to know how the onion is cut and how much of it is used... thinly sliced onion is used to layer on top of the noodles before laddling the soup... diced onion is used when sauteeing with other ingredients to enhance and add flavor. One large onion is usually good for both purposes and for serving of 4-8 depending on the dish.

In my opinion, any reviewer who said that they were able to make friends from using the cookbook is a fake... cooking is something you do in your own kitchen... you only meet people from your cooking if you are going out to eat or cook professionally. Other social gathering like a pot-luck would require for you to at least know the host/hostess... Vietnamese noodles are definitely not pot-luck dishes because it requires too many fresh ingredients to be added immediately before serving... order take out noodles at a Vietnamese restaurant and you'll see how much fresh vegetables are included... in a separate plastic bag, soup in a separate container, and the noodles and meat in yet another container. There are other dishes that could do like the spring rolls or eggrolls but even those are not really suited for potluck.... the rice paper gets tough and chewy if refrigerated... eggrolls get soggy and not so crunchy if stayed covered for too long...

I find that ethnic cookbooks that include exotic ingredients that are not usually available in that culture are insulting to that culture as well as deceptive to the consumer. I once found a Vietnamese cook book that had goat as a meat ingredient... Vietnamese don't usually eat goat... it's just not available in their markets... most Vietnamese dishes are fish, shrimps (notice the entire length of the country is next to an ocean), crabs, pork & chicken (easily raised by farmers), and some beef (more expensive because oxens are used to work on the farm rather than meat like here in the US). Goat meat is as exotic as gator meat here in the US. The average Vietnamese would have had all the seafoods, pork, chicken, duck, and may be some beef if they could afford it. Goat as an ingredient in "Everyday Vietnamese" cookbook is as ridiculous as gator in "American Homemade Dishes" cookbook.
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This discussion

Participants:  3
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Mar 23, 2006
Latest post:  Sep 4, 2009

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