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Jadepearl "geezer geek" (Wandering, USA)

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Vietnamese Cuisine
Vietnamese Cuisine
von Su-Huei Huang
Preis: EUR 15,14

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Very flawed but full of pictures, 8. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Vietnamese Cuisine (Taschenbuch)
The book is bilingual with instructions in both Chinese and English. Each section is graced with photos of the dishes.
The book is flawed for its lack of details such as, time for preparation; and of procedures (either written or pictorial. Phrases such as, "Cook chicken until 80% done" - are not overly instructive.
I would not recommend this book unless one is already familiar with cooking processes, Asian in particular. It does not give thorough background in either the history of the country nor dishes. This book also fails to teach a person on how to cook. There is an introducion of ingredients that does have photos but other than that you are on your own. IT is a simple repository of *very* modified recipes.
The recipes are not quite right. An example is the "vietnamese pancake" or Ban Xeo which only uses wheat flour (try rice flour and potato starch) or the fact that the frequent sauces used section is missing caramel (an essential ingredient used in various stewed and stir fry dishes. Oh yes, the dipping sauce recipe is WAY off.
You are much better off getting another Vietnamese cookbook to start you off such as, "Best of Vietnames and Thai Cooking" - Mai Pham which is an easy introduction to dishes and ingredients though somewhat westernized (not excessively). The Lonely Planet food guide to Viet Nam is better than this book - and that is not a cookbook but a guide to Vietnamese food. For the more hardcore go get Corinne Trang's "vietnamese cooking".
If you are a collector and obsessed about having a complete collection then get this book but ONLY on a big discount.
Not recommended for beginners and for advanced users it will be disappointing except as a possible cross reference for dishes.

The Vietnamese Cookbook
The Vietnamese Cookbook
von Diana Tran
  Gebundene Ausgabe

3.0 von 5 Sternen Pretty but not essential, 11. Mai 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Vietnamese Cookbook (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Similiar to the Pleriplus book, _The Food of Vietnam_ this book has very nice photography and simple recipes. It is also pretty small at only 119 pages including index. This book also shares some of Pleriplus' flaws:
1) Not much background information; 2) Assumption that you know to cut for tenderness or prepare more difficult things like cleaning shrimp or squid; 3) Does not expand the knowledge base of cooking technique or theory for its user; 4) Recipes are modified greatly;
The recipes are modified for faster time preparation. Which is very advantageous for the beginner but a purist will definitely NOT be happy with the recipes e.g., pho ba broth being made with 30 minutes of simmering or the lack of caramel use in recipes. The intent of the book is for speed which it admirably provides.
Since Vietnamese cuisine is adventursome in its approach there is room on the shelf for another book that makes free with the recipes.
The better book to buy is Corinne Trang's _Authentic Vietnamese Cooking_ whose recipes are sound and provides more interesting reading in general. If you are a history/culture junkie then Lonely Planet's World Food Guide to Vietnam is surprisingly good with a few recipes thrown in.
Overall, a pretty book that provides speed but not much substance for the hardcore. It is, however, a nice beginner's book.

Lonely Planet World Food Vietnam
Lonely Planet World Food Vietnam
von Richard Sterling

0 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen fact correction on previous review, 9. Mai 2000
the reference to dog meat preperation contrary to Lonely Planet's description is from Robert Templer's _Shadow and Wind: A View of Modern Viet Nam_.

Lonely Planet World Food Vietnam
Lonely Planet World Food Vietnam
von Richard Sterling

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A good companion piece - but not a cookbook on its own, 9. Mai 2000
The book is well put together but it is a more chatty version of a food guide. In its tone and topic it humanizes the Vietnamese via the vehicle of food removing stereotypes. It covers topics that other Vietnamese cookbooks do not cover very much such as, etiquette and placement of items in a greater meal context. Which for the traveler and non traveler is a very good thing.
However it is NOT a cookbook though it has some recipes. It's main focus is to enable you, the traveler, to experience Vietnamese food on location. Which this book does very well.
I found things somewhat factually wrong - the dog meat section. Though it tries to make you feel better about eating dog meat by saying that the dogs' lives are happy until their quick death -- certain instances of this are not true. Look up Temple's book on modern Vietnam _Shadows and Wind_ in describing how the dogs were beaten to death for tenderizing purposes to celebrate a New Year meal. This method may disturb some people but the ancient Romans practiced similiar methods (see Plutarch's essay on vegetarianism). Anyway, it is a flaw of fact.
This book proves to be a wonderful companion to other books such as, Trang's _Authentic Vietnamese_. It provides, in its small pages,information on modern food, history, and background information on Vietnam in a compact way that is well written and succinct. The photographs and layout are very well done creating a very pretty book. In conjunction with _Lonely Planet Vietnam_ it is indispensable.
For the cookbook enthusiast it is a good item for a collection emphasizing southeast Asian cuisine. It is a good source for background information and gives a more modern slant on things. It is a companion piece but not the main stay of a Vietnamese cookbook collection which it was never intended.
A good book and MUCH better than the Food of _insert cuisine here_ Periplus series.
1) compact and succint; 2) highly informative; 3) maps and amusing anectdotes; 4) good layout and design; 5) few recipes but recipes are very sound;

Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, And The Future Of America
Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, And The Future Of America
von Thomas Fleming
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Multi-layered and informative, 1. Mai 2000
I recommend this book for people who enjoy historical narrative writing. Fleming has done a very good job in portraying the various characters and historical context of which this famous duel between Hamilton and Burr had taken place.
It is also to Fleming's credit that the people are portrayed as complex characters and not straw men. I enjoyed learning more about the familial relationships and politics of the various founders. Fleming's prose is simple and he maintains good tension in a story that everyone is basically familiar with.
I agree that with another reviewer that the potrayal of politics of the time period could be disturbing especially for those who hold more cherished and idealized views.
There is not much in the way of historical analysis or "what if" but the work gives a personal texture to what some consider a dry topic, American political history.
All in all a good narrative history that brings early America with its complexity alive.

Simply Sensational Desserts: 140 Classics for the Home Baker from New York's Famous Patisserie and Bistro
Simply Sensational Desserts: 140 Classics for the Home Baker from New York's Famous Patisserie and Bistro
von Francois Payard
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Deceptively Simple and nicely photographed, 12. April 2000
At first I thought this book would be another food porn book --nice pictures, no substance. Like the world really needs anotherpoundcake recipe.
I was surprised that the simple structure andinstructions offered a wealth of possibilities. for instance using Meyer lemons with the lemon curd recipe.
I recommend this book for the following reasons:
1) very easy - similiar desserts have more steps and do not come out as well as the ones here; 2) Very nice layout -- care was taken in visual presentation; 3) Recipes are provided in both metric and imperial weights -- guaranteeing sound results; 4) Recipes are done with a minimal amount of fuss, ease of reading and less cluttered; 5) The recipes work.
Not a bad combination at all. Much effort has gone into this book and at first it seems too simple to justify the expenditure but it definitely deserves a place on the shelf. Granted, there are hundreds of poundcake recipes out there but none so simple and allows for a certain understated elegance. You could get a dessert book that provides show stoppers that cause people to oohh and ahhh on the visual level but it is all in the taste. Now the the stuff here will not get you the ooohhh and ahhh but it will get you a "yum" or two. END

The Best American Sports Writing of the Century (The Best American Sports Writing Series)
The Best American Sports Writing of the Century (The Best American Sports Writing Series)
von David Halberstam
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Pleasing even to a non-sports person, 15. März 2000
The selection are excellent (they'd have to be for best writing of the century). The essays show a love of sports but also deeper meditations on the art of writing, as well as society. Endless amounts of ink have been used in describing seasons' worth of stats and hyperbole but it is the quiet nature of the essay that allows a deeper glimpse behind the stats or beyond the glare of the media. The essays on DiMaggio and Williams are examples of showing life after baseball and at the same time the influence of these men on the sport.
The only drawback I saw to the book was no information about the writers themselves. I am looking through the prism of a writer -- catching facets of light and form. Through the writer I am seeing someone who is seen by millions. I can speculate on the writer or if the writer is upfront about their views of the person but the writer is a mystery at the same time they are revealing the mystery of the sport or sportsmen.
I would recommend this book not only for the lover of sports but also to anyone who appreciates good writing in general. As a newbie to reading sportwriting it was a very welcome introduction.

von Neal Stephenson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

3.0 von 5 Sternen Good but Fails Female Characters, 16. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cryptonomicon (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Hmm..Seems that my review was lost so here I go piecing together what I remember.
First, the novel is good. Think of it as Eco's _foucault's Pendulum_ meets _Treasure Island_ on benzedrine.
The handling of the complex plot was done well. The tone was not as breezy as _Zodiac_ and more reminiescent of _Snow Crash_. Defintely for the geek and in particular, a techno geek who will find that the book has a high "cool" quotient. Some things will be lost if you are not part of that circle familiar with terms and technology. For those who are there are some very funny moments.
Now on to the unpleasant part. I was sorely disappointed that the female characters got very short shrift. I had high expectations because _Diamond Age_ surprised me by having complex female and male characters. Stephenson has consistently improved his writing and ability to handle characters. Unfortunately, in this book he has lurched back to female developement level of _Zodiac_.
My evidence is as follows:
Amy Shaftoe (tough, but tender love object) Glory (Lost love) Charlene (hostile, academic girlfriend) Mary Waterhouse (ineffectual wife not concerned with everyday matters) Julietta (Finnish gun toting femme fatale) Assorted hookers and nameless rape victims; oh yes one Waterhouse aunt (Nina) and Virginia Howard (Devotees of Elmer Bolstrood furniture);
The dialogue of the women were very limited and what was there did not serve them very well. The characters end up being very flat and only as complements to the men. Never as individual characters with unique voices or thoughts.
Since Stephenson has decided to take the risky path of sequels I hope that he will have better development of female characters. Otherwise, I will actually consider the Cryptonomicon as a decline in character development
In essence it is Fun but not too deep.

Kochen und Geniessen wie in Vietnam (Periplus World Cookbooks)
Kochen und Geniessen wie in Vietnam (Periplus World Cookbooks)
von Thi Chi Trieu
  Gebundene Ausgabe

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Pretty..but is not a must have, 5. Januar 2000
It has pretty pictures and some chatty writing but I would not consider it a must have on the shelf of Vietnamese cooking. Though it is better than alot of Vietnamese cookbooks I have come across.
Flaws include:
1) Assumption of knowledge of meat preparation including how to clean squid and cutting for tenderness;
2) Does not prepare reader fully when recipe is longer than 15 minutes. Yes indeed it will take more than 15, matter of fact, it will approach an hour or so (yipes);
3) Some recipes especially stocks are westernized excessively (celery! no star anise);
The section on pickles though is good. So are the pictures dealing with ingredients.
Get this pupster on a discount not at full retail. It is good as a supplement but it is not a desert island classic.

Authentic Vietnamese Cooking: Food from a Family Table
Authentic Vietnamese Cooking: Food from a Family Table
von Corinne Trang
  Gebundene Ausgabe

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Very Good but not definitive, 5. Januar 2000
I collect Vietnamese cookbooks and so found this cookbook very valuable:
1 - the recipes are relatively authentic; 2 - very easy to understand
This and Pham's _Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking_ should be the references bought though Routhier's _Foods of Viet Nam_ is considered a standard.
Pham's recipes are more westernized but background information is good and recipes are sound.
I have yet to track down independent publications from Australia but I would say this comes closest to the recipes garnered from personal interviews with Vietnamese home cooks.
Vietnamese cooking allows variation making room for available ingredients and influences (it is the best of fusion). So if the Trang recipe does not resemble the very traditional recipes of family it still contains the basic outline.
You will encounter recipes usually not covered such as pork pate and other delicacies.
I was also impressed that Trang decided to discuss exotic meats including dog. Usually Vietnamese and Asian cookbooks in general avoid the topic completely but Trang decided to confront the issue (bravo). Trang is quite correct that eating of certain exotic meats is restricted to males (aphrodisiacs) and interviews with Vietnamese cooks confirm this.
An essential reference for Vietnamese cookbooks but keep in mind that the home recipes are still varied and that this it is not an exhaustive source book.
Another thing to keep in mind that this book does not cover in great detail techniques regarding preparation of meats (asumption is made that you already know to slice against the grain for beef)
The most glaring flaw of meat preparation and options is demonstrated in the pho ba recipe which does mention the use of tendon but not its preparation. It skips tripe as well. Discusses condiments as sidebar but does not tell you what condiments to use with pho (hoisin, chili paste, nouc mam, lemon wedges).
A good recipe source but not definitive in technique. I would have on hand a book devoted to Asian preparation practice in conjunction with this book.
Overall, the best available American books for a Vietnamese collection are this book, Pham's _Best of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking_ and Nicole Routhier's _Foods of Viet Name_ or _The Best of Nicole Routhier_.
Recommended but not definitive.

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