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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on October 14, 2003
This is a great though misnammed cookbook. Its a matter of semantics as to what you consider "Barbeque". The author certianly explodes the concept and pushes the envelope. "Worldwide Grilling Receipies and Accompanyments" would be a more accurate title.
That detail out of the way this is a great receipie book!. Hundreds of dishes from all over the world. I am rather fond of Asian food (southeast asian in particular) and there is no shortage of grills from that part of the world. Most of the other really juicey looking dishes come from South America or the Carribein.
The dishes vary from simple to complex but none of them too terribally complicated. The list of ingredients can look impressive and intimidating but after you have done it a few times its really not that bad. If you feel intimidated then it means you are ready to learn.
They do call for ingredients such as fish sauce and Tamarid paste that most Americans don't have stocked in their pantry. Unless you live in a big city with gormet or ethnic shops you may have some problems finding these things. But he does give sources for ingredients in the back. Also when he lists the receipies he does it in a form that is adapted to American tastes and ingredients your likely to find. He does mention the "authentic" ingredients as well just in case you feel daring.
The book contains a basic discussion on gas vs charcol, grilling techniques, times and temperatures. He makes it clear that grilling is not an exact science so at times he doesn't get all that specific. From a Barbeque "bible" I would have expected a bit more explicit instruction and coverage of the actual equipment and mechanics of cooking but he covers it well enough for success. I guess thats what his other book (complete with color illustrations of technique) is for.
This book is part travelog as well as receipe book. Personally I like this but some people consider it a waste of space. He goes into his personal experience with discovering some of the dishes as well as commentary about cooking style and flavor in different parts of the world (including the USA).
The book is organized roughly by type of dish. Starters (think drinks and chicken wings), beef, pork, lamb, ground meat, chicken, fish and sauces. Within those catagories he tries to get something from every part of the world. As a result many of the receipies are not directly grilled, they simply relate to grilled food (kind of like cole slaw and BBQ). There worth having regardless.
Conclusion- All and all I think this is a GREAT cookbook. If your a newbie to cooking AND grilling then your probably best starting off with something a little more conventional. But if your a moderatley experienced cook you should be able to hand this with no problem. Somewhat misleading title but if you take it for what it is you will not be disappointed.
PS - If you like this style of book and the international flair of these dishes you might check out "Terrific Pacific" by Anya Von Bremzen. You'll find similar ingredients and flavors as well as commentary.
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on October 4, 2002
See, there's barbecue, and then there's barbecue: A method of cooking, versus an entire *culture* -- the boys on TV tending their flatbed-mounted smokers at the 54th Annual World Championship BBQ Cook-Off in Chattanooga, or whatever. This book isn't about the latter. It's "only" about the former: the act of cooking meat (and other things) over fire.
I say "only" because this book is extremely comprehensive. While I tend to be skeptical of anything calling itself a "bible" that isn't actually, you know, The Bible, it's hard to image there's much of anything left out of this. Not only does the author deal with the perennial questions -- charcoal versus gas, types of wood smoke, varieties of sauces, and so on -- he also addresses related topics like drinks, salads, and desserts.
Where this book is most impressive, however, is in the amazing variety of recipes. Within pages, he takes us from Nigeria to South-East Asia, the Mideast to South America, to Japan (plus, of course, Kansas City, the Carolinas, and Texas), and from beef through pork and fowl to seafood and vegetarian options, and more. If you can slap it on a grill, Steven Raichlen can probably tell you how to cook it.
The good ol' boys at the cook-off might be shocked and appalled to find things like grilled salad niçoise or Japanese dengaku ("tofu on stilts") calling themselves "barbecue," but if you can get over the cultural difficulties, you'll find enough here to keep you busy over the coals for many a long summer.
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on May 30, 2001
As a very busy person with no time to bake and little time to cook, the barbeque is my life line. There have been times that without it my family would probably have starved. You have not become a die-hard barbeque chef until you stand in our thirty degrees below-zero Canadian winter weather, with barbeque fork in hand, as you desperately jog-in-place in a winter parka to keep the rest of you from freezing! To the book's credit, the recipes are fantastic and soooo delicious! Being a veggie lover, one of my favourite sections was on salads, and the sauces are absolutely mouth-watering. The recipes come from all over the world and there are enough here to keep you sizzling away for a year. However, my personal preference would have been for the author to eliminate his travel experiences, or simply save them for another book, and stick to the recipes alone. For that reason, the book lost one star in my rating. However, do not let that deter you from buying the book; these recipes are sure to spice up your life and make you the hit of your next patio party. We all need a Steven Raichlen in our back yard!
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on August 18, 1999
Among the hosts of books out there claiming to be some kind of bible or another, The Barbecue Bible, by James-Beard-winning author Steven Raichlen is one that lives up to the name. The product of years of travel--over 150,000 miles through five continents--this phonebook-thick study of fire-cooked foods is part travel diary, part history book, part cookbook, and part anthropological study. Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining exactly what cooking styles the term "barbeque" encompases, (the author uses the broadest definition) this book is primarily about grilling. Packed with over 500 recipes including sauces, rubs, side dishes, desserts and exotic drinks from around the world, Raichlen's first hand experience and pithy, "how to" lessons on technique make for easy preparation and a thoroughly interesting read. Covering nearly every posible style imagianble--from Jamaican Jerk to Indonesian Saté to North Carolina pulled pork--you'll find yourself skimming the recipes for content alone. But then, how many cook books feature recipes that begin with phrases like "The Berbers are a rugged, rug-weaving people who live in Morocco's Atlas Mountains" (when introducing a Berber marinade). The layout is clean and easy to follow, with minimal reliance on photographs, so you won't find the standard "prettier than I could ever make at home" images you see in most cookbooks. The relatively few photos that are used serve to connect recipes and techniques to there cultural origins--like images of a real South American pit barbeque, or a North African market. In all, this startlingly comprehensive book offers a wealth of knowledge and is a must have for anyone interested in improving their flare on the grill.
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on May 18, 2003
This book is full of awesome, diverse recipies. Make no mistake, however, it will not show you techniques to develop your own recipes, but instead gives you several international dishes. This is not a "how to" guide but is simply a cook book, with tons of recipes to help you diversify your grilling repertoire. You have to try the honey sesame shrimp. Good golly they're good. So is the beer can chicken!
so if you are tired of barbecue chicken, lawry's salt covered stead, ordinary hamburgers and marinated chicken breasts, then get this book.
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on May 26, 2002
I was a bit skeptic about this book but I'm glad I purchased it. The author provides all sorts of details as well as very interesting cultural aspects to each dish. If you're looking for burgers and hot dog recipies then don't look here! These recipies offer American grillers a look at how other people in the world barbeque. Plenty of recipes and step by step instructions so you can grill to impress at your next get together.
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on July 19, 1998
My first attraction to this book was to help satiate my passion for grilling. But I found this book both educational and just plain fun to read. The recipes from all over the world of barbeque are reason enough to own this book. The recap of his experiences and discoveries in search of the great grilling recipes will keep the true fan of barbeque reading long after the meal is done.
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on July 17, 1998
I heard the authour on Fresh Air talking about the non-beef bbq ideas from places like Thailand (lemon grass and rice inside grape leaves) and giving tips on the best veggies to grill (ones with lots of water in them). I bought the book right away.
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