Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: Ceviche

Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: May 2014
Source: Review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for review

Flavor-driven and captivating, Peruvian dishes are unique and familiar at the same time. This cuisine combines native ingredients that are becoming increasingly popular in their own right (such as quinoa and amaranth) with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese techniques and ingredients to create fresh, multicultural gourmet dishes that appeal to America's ravenous taste for ethnic food. From sizzling barbecued beef anticucho skewers, superfood salads featuring quinoa and physalis, and piquant ceviche to airy giant choclo corn cakes and lucuma ice dessert, The Peruvian Kitchen will be the first authoritative cookbook to bring the delicious dishes from Peru's lush jungles, Andean peaks, and seaside villages to US kitchens.

Let's start off with the aesthetics of this cookbook.  I know I'm not the only one who likes to display beautiful cookbooks in my kitchen.  While I wouldn't call this beautiful, it is very interesting to look at.  The outside of the book has a tiled look to it, which is different and fun.  The inside does include some very beautiful, full color pictures.

When I first received this book, I wasn't sure how useful it would be to me.  See, I don't care very much for seafood, and there are a lot of seafood recipes in here.  But I shouldn't have worried, because once I started reading through, I found lots of lovely recipes I'd like to try.  There were many in the Street Food section that looked especially delicious.  Things like Sánguche de Chicharrón (Pork and Sweet Potato Rolls) and Chifles (Deep-fried plantain) are recipes that I will definitely be trying.  Other standouts that sound really delicious are Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir-fry), Tacu Tacu de Palta (Avocado & Rice Fritters), and Picarones (Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Doughnuts).
I don't think I've ever eaten Peruvian food, let alone cooked it.  So reading through this cookbook was an interesting experience for me.  A lot of the ingredients are definitely not things I'd have on hand, and some I don't even know if I could find in my local stores.  But there was enough recipes throughout that I feel like I could definitely get a taste of Peruvian food.  

The little stories told throughout were also quite enjoyable, and is one of the reasons I'm enjoying cookbooks so much lately.  It's so fascinating to read about people living in different cultures, how they grew up, the reasons behind the things they cook, etc.  Ceviche is a great example of that, and I'm so happy to add it to my cookbook collection.

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