Jane Butel's new cookbook, REAL WOMEN EAT CHILES, is a treasure to be savored. The delightful book jacket is a work of art covering an equally artistic book cover. The book has delicious layers of visual enjoyment, which lead to further pleasures as Jane leads her readers to contemplate the benefits of eating chile. It is necessary to look at each exquisite photograph before moving through the book.
The vibrant photographs include attention-grabbing close-ups of chile peppers and superb photographs of chile dishes prepared with elegant presentation. The pictures and articles portray a parade of chile women, such as Barbara Richardson, the first lady of New Mexico, who loves green chiles, and Dara Marks-Marino, a professional mountain bike rider, who says that chiles give her an adrenalin rush similar to the one she gets when she descends a gnarly trail. The picture of the "Salsitas", who were empowered by their school project of sharing salsa recipes, reaches out to the readers of the cookbook to inspire all women to celebrate their lives and achievements.
Enlightening information makes the book valuable reading matter. Here are some examples:
--Eating chiles stimulates the oxygen in the body.
--Consuming capasicin produces an endorphin rush.
--Eating chiles can reduce stress and pain.
Nutritional information about the recipes is provided on each page. Thumbing through the recipes, the reader will be sure to find dozens of complex-appearing dishes made simple. There are more than 120 recipes to entice many types of palates. Pizza, wraps, desserts, salsa, seafood, pasta, chowder, steak - the variety is surprising. Who would have imagined chile could be prepared so many ways?
Having co-authored a cookbook primarily about a single food item, THE COLLARD PATCH, I am aware of the challenges and satisfactions that writing a book such as REAL WOMEN EAT CHILES can bring to the author. Jane Butel has written and produced a beautiful book.