In Praise of the Potato: Recipes from Around the World

Lindsey Bareham, Author Overlook Press $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-87951-410-5
The unassuming tuber receives the epic nod it deserves in this ``personal paean'' to the vegetable by London restaurant critic Bareham ( Mood Food ). Moving swiftly through the potato's history, she concentrates on the potato's use in hundreds of recipes collected from historical sources and such renowned British cooks as Arabella Boxer and Jane Grigson. Recipes are arranged by cooking method and type of fare (soups, salads, buns and cakes). British standards like ``bubble and squeak'' and shepherd's pie are included, as are lesser-known international offerings (the Hungarian stew gran o tas kocha and the Malaysian curry ubi kentag kari). There's no doubting the author's ``affection and respect'' for the potato: the research is massive, the organization thoughtful. Yet there is a distant, generic feel to some of the writing, whether about nutrition (``the potato has a vital role in providing a healthy, balanced diet'') or her personal experiences in cooking. The book leaves the reader wanting to stand at attention before the potato, not to welcome it as a trusted member of the family. Black endpapers and disturbing tuber sculpture on the back cover add to the distance. (Mar . )
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-87951-497-6
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