A great book that happens to contain recipes Jan 15, 2009
While I love to cook, I also love to just read recipe books, imagining the way the finished product will look and smell and taste. Alford and Duguid go one or two steps beyond that: their books are narrations about the places from which the recipes come, who the people are who cook and eat the foods, what the PLACE looks like and smells like. The beautiful photography adds to the fascinating copy; the recipes are (according to a gourmand friend who has traveled widely in SE Asia and for whom I also bought a copy of this book) authentic, and the Glossary of Flavorings makes even the most exotic ingredients seem like old friends. Warning: I don't think it's possible to own just one Alford/Duguin book. Each one is at least as informative and beautiful as the previous one, and your collection will grow.