Publishers Weekly, 1997-09-15 First self-published in 1931, Joy of Cooking became an American classic over time because of its reliability as a resource of basic information, not for its culinary daring. The sixth revision, the first in 22 years, advances that tradition with distinction and some calculated flair. Its 2500 recipes reflect how broadly the mainstream of American cookery now flows. New recipes range from Dashi (Japanese stock of kelp and dried bonito flakes) to Grilled Pizza Margherita, Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken in Red Pepper Sauce) and a very simple Vitello Tonnato (cold veal napped with tuna-laced mayonnaise). New desserts are as everyday as Blueberry Cobbler (though this one is flavored with lime zest) or as richly extraordinary as Alice Medrich's Chocolate Cheesecake. Medrich was one of many chefs (including Rick Bayless, Patricia Wells, Jim Dodge and Deborah Madison) consulted for this edition. Modernisms are everywhere, from varietal coffees to a vastly larger sampling of pastas. Appealing new chapters include Grains; Dried Beans and Soy; and Little Dishes, which covers tapas, dim sum, meze and other international specialties. Although cautions against excessive fat intake are included, the taste for deep-frying is answered with Buffalo Wings and No Fail French Fries. As to physical changes, the two-column format remains, but Laura Hartman Maestro's 1000 new illustrations (e.g., of fruits and pasta shapes, as well as of such techniques as cleaning hard-shelled crabs) are more attractive and helpful. Organization is also improved: Stocks and Sauces are collected in one section rather than scattered; Salad Dressings now follow Salads rather than cropping up a few hundred pages later, as in the previous edition. No longer sans serif, the type is chunkier, with ingredients no longer bold-faced. Symbols within recipes (pointers to success, blender, etc.) have been sensibly eliminated. While many expository sections echo the previous edition and the royal "we" still appears throughout, much of the quaint gentility that marked Joy's past tone has been pared away. Nostalgic purists may object; others won't miss the somewhat patrician air. While attempts to be internationally and nutritionally au courant tend to be a bit self-conscious, Joy still contains a vast wealth of invaluable, and now updated, information. BOMC main selection; Good Cook and QPB selections; first serial to Family Circle. (Nov.)
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