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1080 recipes


Mar Calpena
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Maybe I should be posting this in the cookbooks forum, but I think it belongs here (if there's a moderator in the room, please change it if this is the case)

Phaidon has released "1080 recipes" by Simone Ortega in a luxurious, one volume edition, illustrated by Javier Mariscal and with an addendum of menus by famous chefs. When I first saw the enormous book in Frankfurt's book fair my first reaction was a (very loud for the place and occasion, I have to admit) WTF?!

In my heart, Ortega's book is the kind that gets stained and loses its spine after a lot of use in a real kitchen, not something you'd be scared to open in fear of anything happening to it. Phaidon seem to have wanted to dress up an old workhorse (even though we are speaking about a very valuable one here!) as something fancy, and I'm not sure how foreign audiences will react to it, or whether we could say 1080 recipes actually portrays everyday Spanish food. But, then again I may be wrong...

Here's a review from Slate about this. What do you guys think? Have you had a chance to take a deeper look to the English version? What would your number one choice in cookbooks be when introducing non Spaniards to Spanish food?

Mar

(Edited for typos)

Edited by Mar Calpena (log)

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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With out having a single title I can think of I would look into Spanish Tapas cook books. Seems to be pretty popular In the US and why not start with a starter.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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Just got the book. It looks great and at 39,95 euro's it's a steal.

I lived in Spain for some time and I got the feel for making Spanish food by tasting, looking, drinking, some more tasting, going for a meal at least once a week and buying where the restaurants buy. And some more drinking.

So, start simple, with or without books.

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  • 2 weeks later...

droolingdroolingdrooling..........

i'm sure Waterstone's in AMS has received the shipment recently. picking up my copy this coming friday! i'm passionate about Portuguese and Spanish cookery.... now why did i buy Silver Spoon and haven't even looked inside once?!...

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  • 9 months later...

I borrowed this book from the library and was planning to purchase it, but I think I'll wait until the reprint. There seem to be a number of mis-prints in the book--does anyone know if there are corrections available?

Some of the errors are pretty easy to figure out (ex. the book says to bake gougeres at 300C, but I'm sure it must be 300F), but then some are a little odd. For the gazpacho with goat cheese rolled in olives, the recipe calls for something odd like 3/12 ounces of goat cheese to be rolled into balls. That can't possibly be right, can it? I know you can just use as much or as little as you like, but it's still nice to have a correct recipe to start from.

Some of the recipes are also a little scary--American macaroni and cheese has curry powder?

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palhaidon have been making a little push into cookbooks for a while. I know them mainly as an art books publisher but over the last year and a bit i've seen silver spoon, 1080 recipes, pork and sons and (I thinks it's phaidon) terrine.

All of the books are hefty coffee table tomes beautifully presenter, as you'd expect then their background.

They also seemto have been commissioned by an editor who knows nothig about cookbooks. As people have mentioned above 1080 is full of bare bones recipes which would have looked datedly inaccessiblr ten years ago, let alone today. The silev spoon is very much along the same lines. They are like escoffiers cookbooks - classic once but pretty inadequete for the modern kitchen.

Pork and sons is another volume which is beautifully presents but disappointingly vacuous (I think I've written abt it on it's own thread). The recipes again are poorly written and frustratingly vague.

My overall feeling is that phaidons forays into cookbooks are a triumph of form over content. I get the feeling the editor has picked their ttlsnon reputation without bothering to read (le alone cook) from them. Or maybe the rights were just going cheap.

I was not surprised out these books even have their own prs in the uk (www.saucecommunications.com) in the uk. As I said - form over content.

Avoid.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I'm one of, seemingly, the minority to look at both Silver Spoon and 1080 and replace them rapidly on the shelf.

These are not 'books about Italian and Spanish cooking', these are 'basic general recipe collections intended for home cooks, in Italy (SS) and Spain (1080)'.

The very inclusion of "american macaroni and cheese" in a Spanish book ought to be a pretty significant clue.

Regardless of the bizarre incorporation of curry powder. Spanish curry powder?

IIRC, on thumbing through 1080, I was surprised to find a 'recipe' for opening a tin of sardines and arranging them on a slice of toast - or something very close to that.

EDIT: Checked quickly at the bookshop. It was No 12, that Spanish speciality "smoked salmon canapé"... place smoked salmon on buttered toast, sprinkle with lemon...

Similarly, I looked unsuccessfully for real charcuterie instruction in Pork & Sons, and put that back on the shelf, despite the equally glowing write-ups from both professional reviewers and amateurs.

That said, and the reason for this post, I wouldn't automatically damn on sight any Phaedon offering.

Their Rose Bakery "Breakfast Lunch Tea" book is quite nice. Not fantastically instructive, and a book that might well have been presented in a more compact form, but nice nonetheless. (Not that scones are actually a breakfast dish... but that's the section they are in.) I was particularly impressed with the fantastically simple idea of making the individual square tarts their signature (or core) dish.

"Nice", as I said, but having had it from the library, I doubt its a book I'll buy.

I'd have to second Jon Tseng's warning though. Particularly with this publisher, do look beyond the appearance. Check the content. Carefully.

ADDED - So don't buy it blind! Funny how Phaedon shrink wrap their books... hence I can't comment on their latest title "Creole" other than to say it claims to be about Caribbean cookery, has an appropriately snazzily coloured cover, and, er, its shrink-wrapped...

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I'm one of, seemingly, the minority to look at both Silver Spoon and 1080 and replace them rapidly on the shelf.

These are not 'books about Italian and Spanish cooking', these are 'basic general recipe collections intended for home cooks, in Italy (SS) and Spain (1080)'.

I'm not sure that the books are intending to be anything other then a reflection on home cooking in these countries, rather then "traditional" recipes? It would be sort of odd to assume that people only cook recipes from their own cutural backgrounds?

And for that matter that this is a new phenomenon?

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I'm one of, seemingly, the minority to look at both Silver Spoon and 1080 and replace them rapidly on the shelf.

These are not 'books about Italian and Spanish cooking', these are 'basic general recipe collections intended for home cooks, in Italy (SS) and Spain (1080)'.

I'm not sure that the books are intending to be anything other then a reflection on home cooking in these countries, rather then "traditional" recipes? It would be sort of odd to assume that people only cook recipes from their own cutural backgrounds?

And for that matter that this is a new phenomenon?

"1080 Recipes is the definitive book on traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking, trusted throughout Spain for over thirty years" From Amazon.com

No, both this book and SS (and I made a similar comment about that book in it's thread a while back) give the illusion that this IS THE book for it's country, ie Spain. Why would any American (or German or Lebanese) care to buy a book from Spain if the subject matter is not Spanish cooking? I doubt anyone who buys this huge book is doing so becuase he or she really would love to know what a typical version of an American mac and cheese would taste like if a random Spaniard made it! I guess my point is the book as far as I could tell (again just like SS) has no focus and is mosly useless in today's world where we can buy books by Penelope Casas, Anya Von Bremzen and Jose Andres.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I take you point, but what is more authentic then a book of representing what Spanish/Italian are likely to cook at home? Also the book isn't all mac & cheese.

Also where do you draw the line? Should all books on authentic Tuscan cooking take out Bistecca alla Florentina as it is "English"? Even Artusi has a "Californian" recipe.

On the other hand as modern cookbooks they are quite boring, basically a culinary dictionary. Where are the authentic regional recipes? Where is the background to each carefully selected recipe? Where are the emotive photographs of peasants selling wild artichokes from beaten up three wheelers?

For the price they are a useful reference to have, simply based on the sheer number of recipes, but they don't really fit into the mould of a modern cook book.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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I take you point, but what is more authentic then a book of representing what Spanish/Italian are likely to cook at home? ...

Adam, I sadly fear that you have thereby just nominated Delia Smith's "How to Cheat at Cooking" as the being "the most authentic" book on British cookery! :biggrin:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Surely the British when not eating fish and chips or curry, are cooking hot-pot, pudding, haggis, pasties or Welsh cakes?

Actually, a few years ago I looked at the (UK) national statistics site, specifically at food eaten. One of the most popular Sunday dinners in the country was Spag. Bol., not that you are likely to see a recipe for Spag. Bol in a book on "British Cooking", which is I guess the point of a lot of the comments on this thread.

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I take you point, but what is more authentic then a book of representing what Spanish/Italian are likely to cook at home? Also the book isn't all mac & cheese.

Also where do you draw the line? Should all books on authentic Tuscan cooking take out Bistecca alla Florentina as it is "English"? Even Artusi has a "Californian" recipe.

On the other hand as modern cookbooks they are quite boring, basically a culinary dictionary. Where are the authentic regional recipes? Where is  the background to each carefully selected recipe? Where are the emotive photographs of peasants selling wild artichokes from beaten up three wheelers?

For the price they are a useful reference to have, simply based on the sheer number of recipes, but they don't really fit into the mould of a modern cook book.

What is more authentic?? A book that incorporates Spanish culture, ingredients and proper cooking techniques of course. My mom makes fantastic Chinese food in Beirut and many Lebanese make very good roast beef with mashed potatoes on a regular basis. Neither qualifies as Lebanese and those who cook it know so. Actually they cook it specifically to cook something other than Lebanese.

Nothing is wrong with 1080 or SS if all you want is another recipe collection that will take up space on your shelf. It will teach you almost nothing about what it's like to cook like a Spanish or Italian or how to properly use the ingredients of the country the way a Spanish Chef or grandma would. It is not a book for any serious cook who wants to learn and cook Spanish food.

The way I see books like 1080 and SS is the same way I view those "Best recipes from around the world" and "How to Cook Everything from Asia". Sure, they might have a few decent recipes, but you can do a whole lot better with your hard earned cash.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Well no cookbook is going to do all that. I love my Lebanese cookbooks, I live in a city with a large Lebanese community, I've gone to the trouble to track down real zaatar plants, I bet I am pretty rare in haing make ghammeh etc etc, yet I doubt I have any real idea what it is like to cook in a real Lebanese manner (which involves some Chinese cooking it seems).

What I can do is cook a few Lebanese dishes and have learnt to take an interest in Lebanese cuisine. In terms of 1080 & SS, I guess these would help with the former and not so much with the latter (take an interest in the cuisine that is).

My situation is this. I have about 500 cookbooks, almost all either regional, historical or both. I likely have 10-15 books on "Spanish" cookery. For me 1080 is useful simply as it has a huge list of recipes to use as a reference. I wouldn't advise it as a first book on Spanish cookery though.

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Well no cookbook is going to do all that. I love my Lebanese cookbooks, I live in a city with a large Lebanese community, I've gone to the trouble to track down real zaatar plants, I bet I am pretty rare in haing make ghammeh etc etc, yet I doubt I have any real idea what it is like to cook in  a real Lebanese manner (which involves some Chinese cooking it seems).

What I can do is cook a few Lebanese dishes and have learnt to take an interest in Lebanese cuisine. In terms of 1080 & SS, I guess these would help with the former and not so much with the latter (take an interest in the cuisine that is).

My situation is this. I have about 500 cookbooks, almost all either regional, historical or both. I likely have 10-15 books on "Spanish" cookery. For me 1080 is useful simply as it has a huge list of recipes to use as a reference. I wouldn't advise it as a first book on Spanish cookery though.

Fair enough Adam...I am still stuck at reading your "I am pretty rare in haing make ghammeh"!! Only my grandmother in our whole family makes that. No way I am tackling it :biggrin: .

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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My issue it not necessarily that these are bad cookbooks for what they are (effectively culinary telephone directories). Simply that the way in which Phaidon and/or Sauce Communications pitched them (and the uk press joined in with) was at best lazy and disingenuous and at worst just incorrect.

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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  • 2 weeks later...

1080 Recetas was first published in 1972, the height of the formation of the Spanish middle class. At that time people were doing what we would now consider to be some pretty crazy things in the kitchen. Things, for example, like substituting olive oil for the more expensive and aspirant northern European butter and/or sunflower oil. I've just noticed that Amazon says 1080 Recetas is '... the definitive book on traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking' and posts the book's recipe for chorizo y patatas as - presumably - an example of this. '3 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons lard, 5 tablespoons sunflower oil'. You'd be very hard pushed to find anyone who makes chorizo y patatas like this nowadays. And no one would have made it this way before 1968 or thereabouts.

1080 Recetas is a lovely book, a lovely memento of a bygone age.

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