L.A.’s Original Farmers Market Cookbook

JoAnn Cianciulli, Author, Karl Petzke, Photographer , photos by Karl Petzke Chronicle $22.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-8118-5568-6

At the L.A. Farmers Market, shoppers can select from the best farm-fresh goods representative of Southern California’s bounty, but the market, a favorite among tourists and locals almost since its 1934 founding, also hosts dozens of small restaurants, bakeries and stalls selling prepared food. In time for the market’s 75th anniversary Cianciulli, a food writer and Food Network producer, collects recipes from 48 of these eateries, some that have been around since the market’s beginning or close to it, others more recent and reflective of L.A.’s diverse, ever-changing population. Cianciulli divides the book into four categories (breakfast, sandwiches and light bites, main meals and desserts), with such dishes as La Korea’s Korean-style short ribs, a Middle Eastern falafel sandwich at Moishe’s and Breadworks’ toothsome Hungarian cinnamon loaf. Cianciulli prefaces recipes from each place with a brief history, an introduction to the lively owners and an evocative description of the atmosphere it generates, so reading feels like a walk down the bustling market aisles. Though most of the recipes use ingredients available from the farm stands, the farmers and the ideal of sourcing food locally are not the book’s focal point, which may disappoint some readers. Most, however, will be thrilled to have access to such a wide array of favorite recipes and to help celebrate the long life of this vibrant institution. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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