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- Publié sur Amazon.com
I'm new to raw foods "cooking", so I'll start with the first salad in Juliano's "Raw". Let's see, the ingredients include: anise hyssop, borage, bronze fennel, chickweed, meadow rue... What the heck is meadow rue? Let's check the glossary, "a delicious leaf"...Thanks Juliano. I'll also need mizuna, salad burnet, society garlic and summer purslane. I've heard of some of these items, but I've never seen them in Seattle natural markets, and Seattle's a very vegetarian cuisine savvy city. Unless you can grow these things yourself, good luck finding them. I must admit that despite the fact that I prepare food from scratch quite a bit, I found Juliano's recipes too complicated and under-explained to attempt a single one. Other raw foods "cookbooks" explain raw foods prep in considerably more detail, such as "Warming Up to Living Foods" by Elysa Markowitz, and "Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook" by Steve Meyerowitz.
Juliano writes that the purpose of the book is to introduce or reacquaint the reader to raw foods, and to provide the tools to eat this way. Unfortunately, I'm not sure Julanio succeeds in these goals, although he certainly gave himself a nice modeling portfolio. Since most readers will be unfamiliar with raw foods, he needs to provide more guidance than most cookbooks in what are the ingredients, how to shop for them, the kitchen equipment needed, and how to prepare the foods. The guidance is too sparse and at times inadequate in these areas. A few of the many examples of inadequate instruction:
* Many recipes require a dehydrator, yet there's zero guidance on how to select one.
*Several recipes call for "coconut meat", such as the carrot cake which calls for 2 cups. Approximately how many coconuts will I need to buy or find on the beach to yield 2 cups? Will one do, or do I need to buy a second one? Juliano doesn't say.
* Rejuvelac is common fermented beverage among raw fooders. However, as the Sproutman points out in his raw foods book, "there can be good fermentation or bad fermentation." There should be guidance on how to tell if the liquid has fermented, and when exactly should you discard it and start over.
* Sprouting seeds is an important prerequisite to many of Juliano's recipes, yet he briefly outlines only one method of sprouting, and one of the less common/less effective methods. It would be nice if he discussed and provided photographs of several options. Afterall, there was room in the book to provide several full-page pictures of Juliano. (The book contains about 8 pictures, several of them full-page of Juliano doing something other than food preparation.)
Which brings us to book's design. Some call it beautiful, and it's true it's full of beautiful colorful food photography. However, overall, I find it busy, wasteful and extravagant. The designers seemed to go wild displaying every design element they could. Every page is glossy and has multi-colored striped horizontal rules of varying thicknesses running through it, often bisecting an otherwise gorgeous plate of food. Some pages have writing at a 90 degree angle running up the page. I could go on with examples, but my point is, what could be a very visually appealing coffee table book is loud and annoying with a multitude of inconsistent design elements.
Despite the busy design elements, it certainly was inspiring to look at glossy photos of delicious-looking raw foods. (And if you like that Romance novel cover look, you might find it inspiring to look at glossy photos of Juliano. :-) However, I'm sticking to less expensive raw foods books that do a better job of explaining how to prepare this healthy, but often complicated cuisine.
~Reviewed by Groovy Vegan for Amazon.com