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Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine [Hardcover]

Steven Raichlen , Robin Zingone
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1993
The new star of the culinary galaxy is South Florida, declares The New York Times. And no wonder. Out of America's tropical melting pot comes an inventive cuisine bursting with flavor--and now Steven Raichlen, an award-winning food writer, shares the best of it in Miami Spice. With 200 recipes and firsthand reports from around the state, Miami Spice captures the irresistible convergence of Latin, Caribbean, and Cuban influences with Florida's cornucopia of stone crabs, snapper, plantains, star fruit, and other exotic native ingredients (most of which can be found today in supermarkets around the country).

Main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club's HomeStyle Books. Winner of a 1993 IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

In 10 years' time, says Raichlen, "I've watched Miami blossom from a gastronomic backwater to a culinary hot spot." Here, Cuban, Nicaraguan, French Caribbean, Iberian, Chinese, Deep South and Jewish cuisines meet but remain distinct, each taking advantage of abundant and inexpensive tropical produce (and 12 months of barbecue weather a year), while avoiding others; Cuban and Nicaraguan kitchens, for instance, still ignore the ubiquitous seafood. Raichlen's lively immersion in this confusion of ethnic food introduces the traditional Caribbean starchy roots, such as yucca, yam and boniato, as well as the typical tropical fruits and recent exotic introductions, like the lychee nut. Also present: several formulas for preparing alligator--savory and healthy, but often tough--and even an address from which to mail-order the frozen meat. Raichlen's style is amiable and chatty, and procedures are detailed and sensitive ("gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until the oil begins to bead on the surface of the sauce. This indicates that the water has evaporated, concentrating the flavor of the sauce"). The thick volume conveys a sense of authenticity throughout, although the author sometimes reveals an ignorance of the historical development of Caribbean cuisines (i.e., the discussion of tamales reveals a Mexican bias).
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Cooking teacher and author Raichlen's most recent book is High-Flavor, Low-Fat Cooking ( LJ 11/15/92); now he turns to the zesty, eclectic, evolving cuisine of southern Florida. The large Cuban and Latin American populations in the area have changed the region's food, and Miami's restaurant scene is hopping. Floridians have always enjoyed plentiful fish and seafood, and a wide array of exotic produce is increasingly available as well. Raichlen's fresh, flavorful, and lively recipes range from Yuca Fritters to West Indian Pumpkin Soup to Conch Chile to Coconut Souffle. Fun and unusual, this is recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook written by a critic? hhmmmm... May 27 2004
Format:Paperback
I bought the book for the cover. I read several cookbooks a year. When I first read Miami Spice I was interested in what was going on with fusion/world cuisine on the South East Coast. The book proved to be a loadstone of information, recipes, and best of all, love for the cuisine that Steven Raichlen ate, cooked and reviewed. This love is what makes the book so important for anyone interested in the culinary movements of the last ten years in the South East.
I have cooked my way through most of the book, stolen a few recipes and adapted as my own, and heartily recommend it to anyone who loves to cook. This is a book for people who enjoy a great read. Really. It is well written and the recipes work.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavorful food that is simple to make March 31 2003
By PT Mom
Format:Paperback
This cookbook is just fantastic. It contains a broad range of recipes inspired by the flavors of Miami, from cocktails to deserts. The instructions are clearly written. Most dishes take only a short time to prepare and all of the results have been great. This book is for people who love richly flavored food but do not want to spend their entire day preparing it.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Tropical Latin cooking at its best! May 8 2002
Format:Paperback
This is one of my favorite cookbooks. This has everything from appetizers to desserts. I especially like the special citrusy marinades and dressings. Some of the recipes are totally authentic Latin recipes while others are based on the original dishes. Everything I've made from this cookbook has been wonderful!
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4.0 out of 5 stars More Meat Oct. 15 2003
Format:Paperback
Of the recipes I tried I really loved them, but I found that many of the recipes were complicated and time consuming. The only complaint I have is the there should be more entrees especially in the meat section.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tropical Latin cooking at its best! May 8 2002
By Kyra_Athena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite cookbooks. This has everything from appetizers to desserts. I especially like the special citrusy marinades and dressings. Some of the recipes are totally authentic Latin recipes while others are based on the original dishes. Everything I've made from this cookbook has been wonderful!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook written by a critic? hhmmmm... May 27 2004
By H. L. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought the book for the cover. I read several cookbooks a year. When I first read Miami Spice I was interested in what was going on with fusion/world cuisine on the South East Coast. The book proved to be a loadstone of information, recipes, and best of all, love for the cuisine that Steven Raichlen ate, cooked and reviewed. This love is what makes the book so important for anyone interested in the culinary movements of the last ten years in the South East.
I have cooked my way through most of the book, stolen a few recipes and adapted as my own, and heartily recommend it to anyone who loves to cook. This is a book for people who enjoy a great read. Really. It is well written and the recipes work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource that has never steered me wrong Feb. 23 2005
By Jack Dempsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
That about sums this up. This book has it all. Very simple recipes with fantastic results. No pictures really, but that's not really a fault in my book. I've tried many, many of the recipes in this book (as well as in the author's "Healthy Latin Cooking" book) and have never been disappointed. As a spearfisherman, his recipe for Florida Lobster was truly appreciated by me and it is downright excellent. I have used it much to the delight of family and friends.

Definitely, if you enjoy latin-fusion type of cooking, and don't have the tweezer-food mentality of cooking (hello French Laundry and Nobu), then this book is for you. Get it without hesitation and you will be delighted. There's a reason why it was a Julia Child award winner.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific recipes, but Ingredients unavailable to most May 2 2001
By tmorton@ch2m.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Having tried several recipes that turned out to be absolutely superb, I drooled at the prospect of working through the rest. I mean, the churascos served with the 3 sauces, and the chicken adobo served with the papaya and black bean vinegarette are in the top five of my all time favorite dishes (see the Barbecue! Bible for the other 3). But as I came across recipes calling for pompano, conch, grouper, the lychees, etc., I wondered how I would ever find these ingredients in Colorado. Quite simply, I can't. I've gone as far as I can go with this book...of the twenty or so recipes I've made out of this book, a half dozen have been incredible, another half dozen very good, and the rest just so-so. Quite a few are more calorific than I'd like.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flavorful food that is simple to make March 31 2003
By PT Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This cookbook is just fantastic. It contains a broad range of recipes inspired by the flavors of Miami, from cocktails to deserts. The instructions are clearly written. Most dishes take only a short time to prepare and all of the results have been great. This book is for people who love richly flavored food but do not want to spend their entire day preparing it.
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