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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hungry Traveler's Cookbook with Recipes from 14 Countries » User review

Great idea, but more of a coffee table cook book than a real one!

  • Apr 15, 2010
  • by
There are two kinds of cookbooks. Those that are used often, by you and even your family and get dog eared and you have to tape them so the pages won't fall out. And then there are those coffee table cook books that you look at, imagine the flavors, enjoy the pictures but never really use a recipe. This book falls more into the latter category, it is definitely a coffee table type of book but I won't go even as far as calling it a cookbook. It really reads more like a travelogue with some recipes thrown in to give you more color and feel for the place and the culture. I enjoyed reading the stories and it helped me understand the local flavors of the regions she visited. However, I would just take a suggestion here and there from her recipes and not follow them exactly. With very little information I am not sure if all the flavors would work and if anyone would dig in at dinner time.

This is certainly not a book a beginner could cook from as it does not give you all the details. In fact, it doesn't even have pictures of the recipe in many cases but just a local picture. Although the picture is nice to look at, it doesn't give you a feel for how the recipe would look. For instance "Llapingachos Rellenos" (Potato Pancakes with Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce) has no picture, nor does "Braised Oxtail with Cranberries". I would have loved to see how these recipes would look and they could have been served in the traditional regional style bringing in the local flavor. Even the directions in the recipes assume you already know cooking as she does not go into the minor details of preparation but gives you the overall steps.

I do love the idea of the book very much, I thought it was great to have a cook book that can bring you local stories and flavors from all over the world. I just wish it had better execution of the recipes - more details, and pictures and some more recipes that I could make my family try, so it could be more than a coffee table food travelogue.

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More Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hung... reviews
review by . March 24, 2010
Having grown up in Mexico I was excited when I saw this book. "Recipes from my Southern neighbors," I thought. Unfortunately I was disappointed. The book is beautiful (National Geographic-like) to thumb through. I really enjoyed the design, colors, and the pictures (though it was deficient in pictures of food). Overall there was a small selection of recipes from the various countries and only a few of the recipes were appealing. After looking at the ingredient lists of the recipes that were appealing …
review by . March 15, 2010
Part travelogue, part cookbook, Nirmala's Edible Diary is a culinary adventure into fourteen South American countries. Guyanan born author Nirmala Narine offers selections of the diverse origins of the cuisine of South America and her own family. Owner of a New York spice company and the author of two cookbooks, Ms. Narine excels in storytelling and bringing adventure to culinary art. Her book lists an easy to search Table of Contents, an Introduction, a section describing the more unusual ingredients-how …
review by . March 04, 2010
Let me start of by saying this is a very colorful and pretty book. That being said I think that most of the recipes in this book would be odd to most people from the United States. I honestly only found about 5-6 recipes in this book that I even found interesting. Some of the alcoholic drink recipes are decent. The baked curry fish & chips and crispy polenta chicken fingers are interesting but that's about it. I will admit that I am a bit picky but I would still only recommend this book if your …
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Anjana Nigam ()
Ranked #644
I spend way too much time shopping (online and offline) and writing reviews. Good thing that I work in retail too! When I am not on Lunch.com I like to read and try out new tech toys. I grew up in India … more
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About this book


Join "The Indiana Jones of Spices," Nirmala Narine, as she eats her way from Rio to Buenos Aires, capturing the tastes and smells of South America in recipes and photos. Millions of tourists visit this part of the globe every year, drawn by ancient ruins, vibrant cities, breathtaking natural beauty, and diverse foods and cultures.Nirmala's Edible Diaryis a passport to the street markets and home kitchens of South America, with over 70 recipes for tantalizing stews, crunchy empanadas, and fruity desserts, and 100 vivid photographs of the foods, people, and landscapes that make this continent a stunning travel destination.
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ISBN-10: 0811869067
ISBN-13: 978-0811869065
Author: Nirmala Narine
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Chronicle Books
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