The Elephant Walk Cookbook: The Exciting World of Cambodian Cuisine from the Nationally Acclaimed Restaurant (Anglais) Relié – 1 novembre 1998
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"I simply couldn't stop eatting. The Cambodian food was so delicious that I kept taking just one more bite . . . What impressed me most was the clarity of flavors." - Ruth Reichl The New York Times
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To most Americans, Cambodia, if it conjures up anything at all, tends to trigger lingering images of wartime atrocities from the movie The Killing Fields or vague impressions of more recent political unrest from the nightly news. Lire la première page
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Just for starters, Cambodian cuisine is probably the tastiest of the SE Asian cuisines that I have tried. And what's more, the recipies are usually quite simple to prepare. I was surprised that some barely required anything beyond my neighborhood grocery store. Even for a back woods person like myself, getting some of the exotic ingredients required only a few stops on the web, and I was ready to cook anything from this book.
The cookbook is expertly laid out. It begins with a lengthy introduction, including everything from information on the history of Cambodia to the art of shopping in an Asian grocery store. The recipies are arranged in a pretty logical fashion: appetizers, meat type, noodles, and deserts. The last section covers the basic ingredients of Cambodian cooking which may be new to the western eyes. For someone coming from a small town, I had never used a lot of these ingredients. Even more handy about this book is the fact that there are many coloured pictures of the dishes and the exotic ingredients. If you've never shopped at an Asian grocery store, it's very useful to know what the product looks like, and Longteine de Monteiro also tells what exactly to look for when purchasing said items. Of course, the pictures really help so you know what type of result you want.
I'm really impressed by the amount of work that Longteine put into this book. Not only are the recipies great and it's loaded with information, it looks good too! The research was a bit exhaustive and the commentaries on each dish gave me some background or at least, entertainment.
Weaknesses of the book? Well, sorry to say, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head without really asking for too much (pictures of EVERY dish, for example). All around, this is a great cookbook, if not my favourite from my collection.
The books very well laid out, easy to follow and could even be a coffee table book. It has a good cross reference to explanations of ingredients that even allow a Texan like myself to impress my Cambodian wife by cooking some dishes as well as her mother. It's a lot of fun trying anyway.
The people who wrote it are real nice. I couldn't find Prahok here in Miami, so I emailed them and they sold me a couple of jars from their store and took the time to ship it to me (at cost).