The Brooklyn Cookbook

Lyn Stallworth, Author, Lynn Stallworth, Author, Kennedy, Author Alfred A. Knopf $25 (432p) ISBN 978-0-394-58417-1
``What defines our food is . . . attitude and memory. The Brooklyn attitude is, `You respect me, I'll respect you; but believe me--my neighborhood, and my food, is best,'' quips Stallworth. The only flaw in this delightful book is that readers may get distracted poring over the authors' accounts of the once and future Brooklyn, N.Y., forget what they're cooking and have to start over again. Which actually wouldn't be a bad thing, since the choice of fare here is exceptionally broad, from Flatbush-born opera star Beverly Sills's ``air cookies'' (chocolate meringue) and Brooklyn Heights novelist Norman Mailer's stir-fried broccoli coupled with gin and tonic to ``Josie's pork chops,'' courtesy of Carroll Gardens, and the Sephardic vegetable pickles surrendered by Syrian Jews in Flatbush. Brooklynites Kennedy and Stallworth evoke the borough's neighborhoods comprehensively but crisply in recipe and reminiscence. And though Brooklyn can't claim a definitive mainstay like Maryland's she-crab soup, its splendid ethnic variety will speak for itself. This is a book for anyone who ever went to Ebbets Field, wants to try tahini or to recreate the hallowed chocolate blackout cake of Ebinger's bakery. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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