The Pleasures of Slow Food: Celebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors, and Recipes

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9780811863827: The Pleasures of Slow Food: Celebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors, and Recipes
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Originally published in 2002, this was one of the first books on the Slow Food movement. We are offering this wonderful volume in paperback for home cooks who strive to preserve the traditions of growing, cooking, and eating good food. With 15 profiles of artisans plus 45 time-tested recipes by chefs and cooks (Alice Waters, Rick Bayless, and more), this cookbook promotes regional heirloom foods that feature local ingredients and/or have been prepared the same way for generations.

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Review:

As its name suggests, the Slow Food movement, founded in Italy, is dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional foodways--to protecting artisanal food producers and the pleasures of eating well. Corby Kummer's The Pleasures of Slow Food introduces readers to the movement and its goals, while acquainting them with some of the producers worldwide who embody its spirit and objectives. Thus we meet the likes of Cindy and David Meyers, whose Vermont dairy makes exceptional cheeses, and Germany's Torshen Kramer, producer of fine cured meats and sausages. The artisans also share with Kummer the stories of their work (of their early cheese-making efforts Cindy Meyers says, "The bleu wouldn't turn blue ... I buried a lot of cheese in the manure pile").

Most excitingly, perhaps, Kummer has included 40 recipes from chefs and everyday cooks whose approach to food and cooking also represents the Slow Food ideal, and in this Kummer has excelled. Not meant for weekday cooking, but easily doable if, in line with the Slow Food ideal, people will put aside time to produce truly gratifying food, the recipes are hits that just keep on coming. Whether it's a simple Chicken Cacciatore with Baked Potatoes from the Piedmontese farm of Elena Rovera; Fried Plantains with Chipotle Ketchup, courtesy of Steve Johnson at the Blue Room restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts; an extraordinary lamb stew from master chef Daniel Boulud; or Alice Waters's caramelized Apricot Tart, the recipes are universally superb. With an introduction by Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and marvelous color photos by Susie Cushner, the oversize book offers a thoughtful introduction to the movement, as well as culinary thrills to those willing to take it slow. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Corby Kummer writes for the Atlantic Monthly, Gourmet, and other publications. He lives in Boston.

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