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Elliot Essman

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Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit
Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit
by Mort Rosenblum
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Passion on Paper, July 7 2004
I'm gorging myself with olives: the fruit, the oil, this book. There are books you re-read years gone, but I found myself devouring clumps of this book just days after reading it in the conventional way. Mort Rosenblum could have given us an encyclopedic guide to the "noble fruit," but instead he follows his passions--and does first class journalistic digging--to press out the finest extra virgin essence of his subject. I also like the way Rosenblum writes, as much a friend as an authority. France, and its olive oils, comes first on the author's list, but he also does justice to subjects as disparate as the place of olives in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promising growth of the high-end California olive oil industry, and even the seemingly bottomless corruption on the olive oil front in the European Community. Few effective journalists write with such literary flair, without seeming to try too hard. A winner.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits
Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits
by Amal Naj
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars What Food Writing Is All About, July 7 2004
Amal Naj's "Peppers" is now more than ten years old, but, if anything, these hot darlings are even more in favor with the American public than they used to be. I'm sure Naj would add a chapter or two if he were writing today, but the book is nevertheless delightful. I particularly enjoyed Naj's coverage of the attempts to find possible living ancestors of modern day "chilies" in South America, and the importance such research has to the protection of the modern agricultural crop. His extensive writing on the war for the "Tabasco" trade mark is first-class storytelling. Of course, as a New Mexican, I do enjoy reading many pages of lore about our state's most important crop. The most flavorful peppers are indeed New Mexican.
(...)

The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries
The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries
19 used & new from CDN$ 14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Key To Using This Good-For-You Food, July 7 2004
I have always been a devotee of berries out of hand, but because I love them so much they rarely survive long enough to make it into my cooking. The Berry Bible may change that. If you want erudition on the berry world, look no further. The health benefits of berries take center stage, and then, straight on, "The A-To-Z Berry Encyclopedia" covers this planet's offerings, from scientific nomenclature to where each berry variety is grown commercially, to picking and storage notes. The color insert of photos of berry varieties is meticulous. The recipe sections--the bulk of the book--are well organized and clearly written. There's an excellent section on "Putting Berries By" for those of you with extra berries you don't want to gobble up just yet; preserves and jellies are covered as you'd expect, but you can also try your hand at "Raspberry Pastilles" if candy-making inspires you. The book has something for everyone, but above all, it treats berries with reverence. It is as complete as any book that claims to be a "Bible" should be.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

Russian Heritage Cookbook
Russian Heritage Cookbook
by Lynn Visson
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.51

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Huge World Cuisine Gets Its Due, July 7 2004
I grew up in a home filled with Russian cooking: the cuisine frozen in time that Lynn Visson captures in the Russian Heritage Cookbook. We tend to know just a few dishes that have some loose association with Russia: Chicken Kiev, and Beef Stroganoff, for example, which both have significant French influences, or Borscht, a simple dish indeed. With the fall of that awful wall Russian cuisine has enjoyed a renaissance, even in Russia herself. Visson exploits today's new interest in this world cuisine with her exhaustive coverage of every conceivable course, all based on authentic, pre-revolutionary recipes. As an example, for kotelety alone she gives us five different family recipes. (It's a shame she didn't consult my mother, former professor of Russian, for another five). For shashlyk (Georgian meat on skewers similar to shish kebab) she gives no fewer than three possible marinades. Real cooking by real people demands such variety and depth. Bravo!
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
by Parsons
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.52

5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Read It, But I Won't Eat It, July 7 2004
It's telling that Russ Parsons titles his book with the one food that's on virtually no one's diet: The French Fry. Now that the forbidden fruit has got my attention, I am deep frying myself in this compendium. I read all the food science books and get something from each one, but I like Parsons' way of putting things. For example, he entitles a chapter "fat, flour, and fear," the fear relating to failure or perhaps a piecrust. This is smart, because this kind of thing happens. Food science helps, with a good dose of hands-on experience. As Parsons tells us: "The only way to learn how to make a good piecrust is to make enough bad ones..." Of course, we knew that already, but it helps seeing it repeated in a science context. Applying the science is the key.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook
The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook
by Deborah Krasner
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Should Come Packaged With Samples, July 7 2004
Deborah Krasner rises to the challenge of leading a tour through the world's olive oils without actually having any on hand for us to sample. Her recipes fit in well with her tasting notes, and the extensive listing of olive oil varieties and brands from different countries dovetails with her resources section. She give guidelines for a tasting. It is important in the beginning that Krasner gives us a warning on "the dark side of current olive production in countries of the European Union" relating to quantity production and environmental damage. There's also the question of possible corruption and chicanery in popular European oils. Perhaps the growing presence of high quality California oils is the answer.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season
Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season
DVD ~ Larry David
Price: CDN$ 14.98
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.20

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Susie Essman is the funniest, July 6 2004
I can't curb my enthusiasm for Susie, who plays Susie Green in this series, since I'm her brother. Of course, Larry David is brilliant as a Sad Sack. It's been done before, but Larry does it as only Larry can. There's no half way with this kind of broad humor. Larry goes for it all and gets it, which would be great, if he wasn't upstaged by Sis.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

Food Chronology, The
Food Chronology, The
by James Trager
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 6.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Mistakes, Yes, But Value Nevertheless, July 5 2004
This review is from: Food Chronology, The (Paperback)
I agree with other reviewers that Trager's book contains numerous errors. Nevertheless, there's nothing I've read quite like it for breadth of coverage of food history. The book is a resource for food writers like me, or anyone who wants a good source of ideas about food. I can check my facts elsewhere. I particularly enjoy Trager's treatment of food processing and industrial food history, as well as his analysis of food and nutrition fads over the past few centuries. His coverage of food-related and deficiency illnesses is also deep, and has spurred me to further reading. If you read The Food Chronology from cover to cover, as I did over a period of several months, you cannot help but be stimulated and enriched.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating: How to Choose the Best Bread, Cheeses, Olive Oil, Pasta, Chocolate, and Much More
Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating: How to Choose the Best Bread, Cheeses, Olive Oil, Pasta, Chocolate, and Much More
by Ari Weinzweig
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.26
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Proves There's Always Room For Another Book, July 5 2004
As a buff who hunts down ingredients and luxury foods in order to get out of the house, Ari Weinzweig's compendium of product lore is an invaluable asset. It is true that the availability of high-end, interesting prepared foods and ingredients is exploding in the United States, and Ari goes a long way toward making sense of them. There is nothing like treatment in depth when it comes to the foods that make our lives so much richer. We need that kind of detail in order to fill both our larders and our bellies with the best.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

The Rocky Mountain Berry Book
The Rocky Mountain Berry Book
by Bob Krumm
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 1.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediately Useful, July 5 2004
I bought this book in Montana mainly for use near my home in New Mexico, and I put it to immediate use in identifying wild plums just around the corner from me. In addition to being an accurate guide to Rocky Mountain berries and related fruits, the book is well written, and sensibly organized. The copious recipes are quite clear as well. Written by a true wild berry fancier.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]

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