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Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain (Anglais) Relié – 26 décembre 2013

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Amazon.com: 50 commentaires
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A love affair with a food and a culture 15 mars 2014
Par Zdzislaw Nagengast - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
It is the definitive book on Spanish charcuteria, that alone makes this an important book. But, it is so much more than a exhaustive and thorough review of a culinary tradition. It is an amazing book. Few books on food fire the imagination as much as this book did for me. The author did more than document a culture and its charcuteria traditions; he captures your interest by appealing to your heart as much as he appeals to your intellect. It is clear that this author has a love affair with Spanish cuisine and culture and his passion and respect for the traditions comes across in every page. It is totally engrossing and sweeps you into its content; and it is the content that puts the book over the top.

First of all it provides you with clearly written and easily accessible instructions. He starts with the pig. The challenges and threats that exist to the preservation of the historically important pig breeds and the husbandry practices that make the pigs so remarkable. Pigs are natures glorious gift to us. He discusses the butchering traditions of Spain and how they differ from our own and how those differences affect the quality of the products produced. He does this without being screechy, there are no screeds here, just thoughtful commentary. He talks about the techniques of preserving and preparing the parts of the pig. He gives you technical information without overwhelming you; his explanation of the butcher's ratios is excellent as a simple example. He also recognizes that most readers will not have sophisticated equipment available to them and he talks about how to improvise solutions for a home practitioner.

The book is about charcuteria, Consequently is not just about the pig. He introduces us to seafood and the Spanish methods of preservation. He provides recipes for condiments and accompanying side dishes that complement the charcuteria. He also does an interesting thing; he brings traditional treatments and modern interpretations together and shows us that traditions and innovation can coexist.

As much as I enjoyed this book I have to say that it might be a bit overwhelming for a novice charcuterist. Having this said that I would still say buy the book. The reason is simple, it will ignite your imagination and it will make you say; I want to do that or I want to try that. You will love the recipes. The illustrations and photographs enhance the text and help the reader visualize the information provided. This is more than a culinary book, it a love letter to a culture and its charcuteria traditions. Worth every penny.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Finally a book for Spanish charcuterie! 5 avril 2014
Par Hunter Angler Gardener Cook - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a book that I foresee using for many years to come. I've been cooking Spanish food for about a decade, and while I'd made many batches of Spanish-style sausage using the books of the late, great Penelope Casas, I had always hoped that there would be a book with a more serious slant on Spanish sausage-making. This is that book. Weiss knows his meat and his sausage-making, where you must be precise and where you can fudge a little.

The breadth and depth of recipes for salami and fresh sausages in this book, not to mention instructions for making your own Spanish-style ham (if you are brave and patient) are worth the price alone. But Weiss also has excellent recipes for curing fish - including salt cod - making pickles of all shapes and sizes, as well as recipes for composed dishes and desserts. Iberico lard cookies, anyone?

Be forewarned, however: This is not a basic charcuterie book. It is important to have some basic knowledge of how to make sausage before tackling these recipes. Can you do them as a oure novice? Yes, you can make simple chorizo and such, but pay very close attention to Weiss' safety instructions. If you are a newbie, Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman's "Charcuterie" is probably a better place to begin. If you do know how to make sausages, however, you can find yourself getting lost in these recipes -- and I mean that in a good way. So many ways to make blood sausage and chorizo!

The only issue I have with this book are his canning instructions. He makes it appear that you can safely can, say, cured anchovies with a boiling-water bath. This is unsafe, and maybe he doesn't mean it, but as I read this book the only place I kept taking issue with Weiss was his canning instructions -- except for his recipes for pickles. His procedures for canning those are perfectly safe.

Bottom line: Don't make this your first sausage-making book. But if you a) are into Spanish cooking, b) love making sausage, and/or c) want a great glimpse into the Spanish meat culture, buy this book. You will not be sad.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Impressive! 14 mars 2014
Par #glutenfreeshiho - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Don't let the cover fool you. It looks so serious and traditional but when you open the book and start turning the colorful pages you immediately know that you have a fun filled educational book written by a passionate chef and the many important tips he learned from his mentors that just happen to be some of the most influential chefs in Spain and beyond. I was so excited to receive my book in the mail yesterday that I ran down to get it autographed today! Can't wait to eat, breath and dream charcuterie! Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain is one kickass book if I say so myself.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
personal, yet thorough, detailed, and professional 10 juin 2014
Par Larbo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is clearly Jeffrey Weiss' first book, because he puts his heart and soul into it.

Not just a collection of recipes, this is an introduction to the pigs that are native to different regions of Spain, to the way they are butchered, to the delicious things that are made from them, and to the people he met, worked with, ate with, and hung out with there, every step along the way. With his words and the photographs, he tries to capture the history, the different cultures – all that goes into the "soul" of a cuisine.

Professional and serious meatheads will appreciate that the recipes give the quantities as weights and not dry measures and that all his recipes are based on what he calls the "charcutier's percentage." In other words, he models his approach on what professional bakers do, where everything that goes into a dough is given as a percentage of the total amount of flour, which is always 100%. In his recipes, the basic unit is 1kg of meat (2.2 lbs), and this system makes it easy to scale the recipe up or down from there. This approach may be unfamiliar to most home cooks, but if they think about it and try it, they will quickly find it liberating. You no longer need an exact quantity of meat for the recipe to work. Start with what you have or want to make, and calculate all the other ingredients based on the percentage.

The book is not perfect, as a few things got missed. He has some unusual recipes for sausages that contain fair amounts of potato and pumpkin (pp. 317-21) that I really want to try, but, after telling you how to cook the potato and pumpkin, he neglects to tell you when or how to mix it in. But in a book this good, a few oversights can easily be forgiven.

Finally, this a book that does not hide the author's personality; it features it. And, like many a chef de cuisine, he comes off as brash and opinionated. Perhaps he's compensating for his "past life in spandex and sequins" as an elite figure skater (check out video clips on youtube; he's great!), but whatever the reason, if you're not into the whole, hard-workin, hard-livin, macho butcher persona, it may put you off. Personally, I don't mind. It's a book about HIS immersion into the world of Spanish charcuteria and what he brought back from it, and if he tried to efface his personality, the book would be poorer for it.
9 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Could be good, but it has some critical omissions... 4 avril 2014
Par mattyd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Great overall, but the author makes a point about the differences between the ways that the Spanish butcher and the ways that US butchers do it. One example is "cabecero(coppa/head of the pork loin)" <-- that is a direct quote from many recipes.

Cabacero is not a cut that is available in the US. The author mentions that, in the US, this cut is left on as part of the Boston butt. So, what do I do? Can I just substitute butt for this cut? Is there a portion of the butt which I could cut off and use?

This same problem is found throughout the book: you can't get these cuts anywhere, and so the book is essentially useless for anything other than a novelty or a coffee table decoration.

Rather than a bit of discussion, the author should devote an entire chapter to this. He should include clear butchering diagrams for both US and Spanish styles. He should have very clear illustrations to indicate which portions of US cuts correspond to the indicated Spanish ones.

I grind my own sausage, and I bought this book to USE, but I can't without more information. The author should be sure to correct this in future editions. In fact, he should put ups a supplementary website immediately to provide this information so that his book ca actually be used.

Other than that rather big deal, my only criticism is that there is maybe a bit too much author personality in the narrative,

Lots of recipes that can be scaled to your needs, good detail on preparation methods and techniques.
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