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The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac


The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac

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Product Description

This authoritative and admirably comprehensive cookbook recalls the seminal work of culinary pioneers Diana Kennedy and Madhur Jaffrey. Assuming the responsibility of introducing specific and authentic South American cuisine to the American cook, Kijac offers a thorough volume that is part reference book and part cookbook. Long chapters about the geography of South America and its pre-Columbian civilizations, as well as a history of cooking in South America precede the hundreds of recipes. A glossary of South American ingredients as well as a dictionary of ingredients are included as well. The recipes are numerous and wonderful. Beverages such as Cachaca Sour, salads such as Watercress, Lupini Bean and Avocado, and Mariana's Chicken are must-tries. The Condimentos section will appeal to anyone who loves the zest and bright flavors of salsas. Many of the recipes are homey, making the book even more attractive. Ambitious and informative, this volume belongs on the shelf of the serious cook.

A sprawling continent comprising many different climates, cultures, and culinary traditions, South America remains the most obscure part of the globe for North American cooks. Thanks in part to The South American Table, by Maria Baez Kijac, South American food promises to become much more a part of the culinary landscape for North Americans. Kijac reminds readers just how many commonplace food products originated in South America: chocolate, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, hot peppers, and pineapple, to mention only some. Political developments influenced the evolution of South American cuisine after Columbus opened the continent to Europeans and the importation of Africans brought unusual reciprocity: South America gave Africa the cassava and sweet potatoes, and slaves introduced African tastes into the cooking of Brazil. One dish appearing in several South American cuisines, tamales differ from one part of the continent to another according to the sort of dough used to hold the filling. The familiar corn masa wrapped in cornhusks appears in Mexican cooking and in some parts of northern South America. But other versions call for potatoes, rice, or yucca, each worth sampling. Meat is critical to Argentine and Brazilian fare, and Kijac supplies marinades and instructions to reproduce these in northern climes. A glossary and a dictionary of ingredient names reflecting Spanish, Portuguese, and native terminologies helps clarify words. In general, recipe ingredients are well identified so that most recipes may be reproduced with a modicum of effort. This is a great introduction to an underappreciated culinary tradition and should be a vital part of any ethnic cookbook collection

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