Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are

Ed Levine and the editors of Clarkson Potter, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-307-72087-0
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Distilling the essence of the world’s largest online community of food enthusiasts into a readable book is not easy, but this entertaining, handy debut from the creators of manages to do just that. Part cookbook, part travel guide, this cookbook covers the best in American grub. Sections are divided by category—breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, barbecue, street food, fried foods, sweets, and pizza—all of which skew to the down-home tastes of the site’s writers. “Serious eaters,” the book posits, are food-obsessed but democratic in their tastes. Each chapter analyzes the standards on which to judge a particular food—crust, sauce, and toppings for the aforementioned pizza, for instance. Regional styles are compared (New York, say, versus Neapolitan). The country’s top purveyors are listed with passionate description. And of course there are recipes to make everything from chilaquiles verdes to Korean-style fried chicken at home. The topics are well researched, and the vivid descriptions of dishes like the burnt ends at Kansas City favorite L.C.’s Barb-B-Q or Thai coconut milk gelato at Capogiro in Philadelphia will have some readers making travel plans. Lively writing and appealing photos make this a great choice for the junk food aficionado and the highly opinionated cook alike. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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