[Sca-cooks] Christmas stuff....
lilinah at earthlink.net
lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 28 10:39:48 PST 2009
> Actually, i don't own any of Julia Child's cookbooks. Heck, i own few
> Western cookbooks at all. My first cookbooks were Indian, Persian,
> Turkish, Greek, Mexican, and Chinese. From there i expanded into
> Japanese, more Middle Eastern (as in Southwest Asia), and Southeast
> Asian. Then North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco),
> Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Now Medieval...
> Someone sometimes called Urtatim
>This is undoubtedly an unreasonable request, but you know so much more
>than I do! I am very interested in non-Western cookery, but don't know
>enough about any of the cultures to know a good cookbook from an
>overly-"adapted to Western kitchens" one. Sometimes it's clear (e.g.,
>when they say it's adapted and it uses boxed mixes as ingredients), but
>often I have no idea. Can you help?
Well, it really depends on the cookbook, the author, when it was
written, when it was published, etc. It will also depend on your own
access to ingredients, your willingness to try ingredients or
combinations that may seem, well, foreign :-) and prep and cooking
techniques that are unfamiliar.
Recipes are adapted for various reasons. Here are a few that have
crossed my mind...
One is inaccessibility of authentic ingredients. This is less of a
problem today, with shopping on the internet and perhaps less
xenophobia in US communities, but we still can't get everything,
especially certain fresh ingredients (here in California we can get
an amazing array of fresh ingredients all year, but sometimes one
needs to know where to look). Second is inaccessibility to authentic
cooking equipment. Third is willingness to use prep techniques that
are unfamiliar, time consuming, or complex.
And finally is making recipes suitable for American tastes (I know
non-USAmericans are on this list, but i can only address well those
book published in the US, and some published in the UK). As
non-Western restaurants become more common, much as they may serve
adapted food, Americans become more comfortable eating dishes that
are quite different from American ''standards'', so American
''tastes'' change (we still rarely eat food as chili hot as people do
in many countries).
More recently written books tend to be more authentic in terms of
ingredients and taste. And some have nice step by step photos of
So, ask and i'll do what i can to help. I'm an amateur myself, but
having lived in three continents and travelled on four continents, i
have a little bit of first hand experience with a few non-Western
Someone sometimes called Urtatim
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