Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Cookbook Chat: The Essential New York Times Cookbook

It took author Amanda Hesser six years to compile the 1400 recipes that make up The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century. She scoured the New York Times' food archive, all 150 years of it, tasting and testing thousands of recipes. The resulting compilation is a mesh of throw-back classics and modern twists. As someone who loves old-timey American recipes, I was thrilled to recipes like noodles romanoff and rum balls. But there are also plenty of recipes on-point with modern trends.

This book is a journey through history by way of food. Each section of the book begins with a timeline, highlighting important culinary events. Did you know the first raw-food restaurant opened in 1917, or that pressure cookers were popular in the 1920s? Aside from the timelines, there's a little introduction at the beginning of the book and a paragraph blurb before each recipe. It's the food, the recipes, that tell the historical story. And as someone who is interested in food, it's a very compelling story. I think this book will become a classic in the tradition of Rombauer and Child.

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