New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson
Publisher: James Wiley & Sons, Country: US
ISBN: 9780470281888, Year: 2009
Link to publisher’s page or site
This review is the personal opinion of the reviewer.

Review

Imagine trying to describe American cuisine to a friend over a cocktail. It’s a fool’s errand since American cuisine is as diverse as a New York borough. Nonetheless, this is what Marcus Samuelsson successfully does in New American Table.

Samuelsson has firmly planted himself in the cadre of great American chefs, albeit from a circuitous route via Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, and France. His life travels mean he developed a strong network of chef-friends, resulting in a repertoire of international foods. Despite that, this is definitely a book about American cuisine.

With the onslaught of the Food Network, blogs, and internationally inspired cookbooks, there are few foods that haven’t found their way into the American cuisine. And just as chicken tikka has become a Brit classic, so too have dishes like pizza and tacos become classics on American tables.

Samuelsson is chef and co-owner of Aquavit. The youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from the New York Times, he is the author of The Soul of a New Cuisine and Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine.

New American Table is very well executed, with enjoyable backstory, vibrant photos, and accurate and usable recipes. But those features aren’t what excite me about this book. The more I read Samuelsson, the more I realized that his progression of traditional dishes from across the globe offers a greatest hits of so many cookbooks on my shelves – but without the obscure ingredients only found in late night Moroccan souks. You can make these dishes and feel the belly dancer’s tassles swirling around your table right in your own home.

Samuelsson‘s uninhibited use of spices also allowed me to look at my over-reliance on salt. He makes no claims to a low-sodium diet, but with his emphasis on the great spices of the world, you can give your mouth a break from salt and enjoy the myriad of flavors available at your local market.

At just over 350 pages with over 300 recipes, New American Table includes recipes such as Hot shrimp noodles with poached eggs, Caramelized scallop salad, Caraway pretzels, Fried yellowtail poke, and My cod udon. As I tested recipes I focused in on the “My” recipes which also include My chile condiment, My veggie soup, and My mother’s spaghetti with peas. I assumed that if they were good enough for him, they would be good enough for me, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Samuelsson’s book is perfect for the aspiring foodie with its vast array of cuisines. Although you’ll find nothing ground-breaking or especially innovative, adventurous cooks will enjoy the challenge of cooking across the globe and, ultimately, a modern definition of American Cuisine will appear right on their own dinner table.

This is an original review for The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf.
Main rating: 4 stars. Recommended
Visual appeal: Attractive
Suitability as a gift: Quite nice
Rate this review
OkayQuite helpfulVery helpful/interesting (none)
-
Loading ... Loading ...
VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rate this book
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


More reviews and announcements that might be interesting:


 

Click for all book news

New release: White Bread

cover

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become “white trash”? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.

[read more...]

New release: Making Soy Milk and Tofu at Home

cover

Why make tofu yourself? Because experiencing tofu’s flavors and textures at its peak–freshly made, creamy, and subtly sweet–is the best way to explore this treasured staple. With minimal equipment required and Nguyen’s clear, encouraging step-by-step instructions, making soy milk and tofu from scratch is a snap for cooks of all levels.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Limoncello and Lemon Water

cover

Much-loved author Tessa Kiros celebrates the heritage of Italy. This whimsically feminine book is a tribute to the women in our lives – mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers – and the important lessons we learn from them.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales

cover

Discover the flavors of Mexican street food in your own kitchen. Americans are having a love affair with the taco. What began as affection for the fast-food version—that hard yellow shell filled with ground beef and mysterious yellow cheese—has blossomed into an all-out obsession for the real thing

[read more...]

Visit our Buying Books page to find out how to support this site

Worth a look: The Aesthetics of Wine

cover

The Aesthetics of Wine shows that discussing wine within the framework of aesthetics both benefits our understanding of wine as a phenomenon, while also challenging some of the basic assumptions of the tradition of aesthetics.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee

cover

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, 19-year-old James Hemings. The founding Father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose” – to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Turkey

cover

Turkey’s culinary customs are as rich and varied as its landscape, and award-winning food writer Leanne Kitchen does justice to them both with more than 170 glorious photographs of the country’s foods and people that make readers want to drop everything and board the next plane.

[read more...]

New release: I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas

cover

This is the perfect holiday baking guide, packed with 72 seductive and decadent chocolate recipes. Offering perfect inspiration for chocolate lovers and holiday do-it-yourselfers, the book includes tips and advice on ingredients and cooking techniques, as well as on packaging and shipping holiday food gifts.

[read more...]

New release: The Complete Nose to Tail

cover

Now Fergus Henderson’s books are joined together in a compendious volume. With a dozen new recipes on top of 250 existing ones, more than 100 quirky photos and exceptional production values, The Complete Nose to Tail is not only comprehensive but extremely desirable.

[read more...]

New release: The Country Cooking of Greece

cover

The Country Cooking of Greece captures all the glory and diversity of Greek cuisine in one magnum opus from Greece’s greatest culinary authority, Diane Kochilas. More than 250 recipes were drawn from every corner of Greece, from rustic tavernas, Kochilas’ renowned cooking school, and local artisans and village cooperatives.

[read more...]

Visit our Buying Books page to find out how to support this site
Click for all book news

website uptimeNEWSITE