To the Heart of Spain: Food and Wine Adventures Beyond the Pyrenees

Ann Walker, Author, Larry Walker, With Berkeley Hills Books $14.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-9653774-0-9
Two books are combined between the covers of this charming volume. One is a buoyant, witty travelogue filled with impressions of Spain's regions, their cuisines and specific reminiscences ranging from the authors' friendship with a man who taught English to the whores in the Barcelona's Barrio Chino. Next is a smallish collection of unusual recipes for surprisingly simple-to-prepare Spanish delicacies such as Scrambled Eggs With Salmon and Raisins; Baked Eggplant With Tomatoes and Anchovies; and Tuna and Almond Sauce. The main-course offerings are particularly strong, featuring such unusual combinations as Fava Bean Stew With Clams (the shellfish taking the place of the more common sausage); Duck With Pears; Partridge in Chocolate Sauce; and Rabbit or Chicken With Snails. The two sections might have been more fully integrated, and a few recipes scant instructions (e.g., readers are told to fashion a drip pan of aluminum foil for Grilled Pork Loin with Sweet and Sour Sauce, but not how to do so). Even so, the passion and affection that the Walkers (A Season in Spain; Tapas) bring to their subject gives this personal account great appeal. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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