cover image Little Florida Cookbook

Little Florida Cookbook

Chronicle Books, Anne Hardy. Chronicle Books, $7.95 (60pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0051-8

This latest entry in the Little Books cooking series offers 30 recipes meant to showcase the ``bounty of exotic and delectable foods found nowhere else in North America.'' Yet British-born Floridian Hardy's renderings of stereotypical dishes like hush puppies, crab salad and Key lime pie reflect no more creativity than an average weekly newspaper food feature. Instructions are limited, if not insufficient--``Return to double boiler and cook until the mixture thickens,'' advises a recipe for coconut cream pie. Worse, the writing bespeaks a bureaucratic timidity at odds with Florida's legendary lushness; the author praises the state's ``energizing climate'' and ``fun and young lifestyle.'' For the many Americans who already know Florida, such observations are old hat. Originally published in Ireland, the cookbook offers a neat, bright package--with nothing new inside. The clear-hued illustrations, while appealing, make the food look bland. (Sept.)