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Ce'nedra

'Savoring' or 'Beautiful' cookbook series

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I've got one of the 'Savoring' books (South East Asia) and two of the 'Beautiful' ones (China and Asia).

Just wondering, for those who have any books from these series, or have had a good flick through, what are your preferences and why?

I think I'm leaning towards the Savoring series and I'm not sure if I'm applying the right words, but to me, the 'Beautiful' series seems a bit outdated. The cooking techniques and/or ingredients often seem authentic (which is a good thing) but a bit...unrefined.

The 'Savoring' series, on the other hand, still stays true to tradition, but contains seemingly 'enhanced' versions of those recipes.

With that said, both series capture some of the most glorious images of scenary of the respective countries.

I don't think I'm making too much sense so I'll just leave you to it now...

Edit: I am thinking of purchasing Savoring China, Savoring Mexico and Savoring America soon. Any recommendations?


Edited by Ce'nedra (log)

Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

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I've got one of the 'Savoring' books (South East Asia) and two of the 'Beautiful' ones (China and Asia).

Edit: I am thinking of purchasing Savoring China, Savoring Mexico and Savoring America soon. Any recommendations?

Hi,

I have a number of the "Beautiful" cookbooks and found that they have excellent recipes. You're right, sometimes they get out dated and need a bit of spicing up.

I have so many cookbooks that I forgot whether I have the "Savoring" series. I'm at work now so I'll have to check when I get home. If I don't have them I will certainly get "Savoring China" since I do a lot of Chinese cooking. Amazon.com has these books at very good prices.

The new Williams-Sonoma "Essentials" series are excellent. Great recipes. I have "Essentials of Slow Cooking," Essentials of Mediterranean Cooking," "Essentials of Italian Cooking," and the new "Essentials os Asian Cooking" is on its way now.

Regards,

Hank


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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I have Mexico the Beautiful and have cooked very successfully from it. Since this book is dedicated more to traditional Mexican food than the food that was current at the time it was published, whether it's out of date or not isn't a particular issue. Yes, it probably is, but the thing is...you can still find many, if not most, of the recipes in this particular book still being made in Mexico. There may have been some tweaks or variations in the 15 years since the book first came out, but the recipes are structurally sound and still pretty common today.

I suspect things may vary from book to book depending upon what the initial concept was for a particular edition when it was first published, with those tracking to the traditional side perhaps fairing better in terms of still being viable today.

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Also, it depends on the author of the individual volume. For instance, Provence the Beautiful was written/edited by Richard Olney, so that makes a huge difference in the quality.

Same goes for the old Time/Life series of cookbooks - the Provence edition was written by M.F.K. Fisher, and the whole "Good Cook Time/Life" series was edited by Olney.


Omnivore Books on Food

New, Antiquarian and Collectible Books on Food

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mbhank: Were there any of the Beautiful books that stood out to you? Any you didn't particularly like?

kalypso: You're getting me interested in Mexico the Beautiful; now I'm struggling to decide between that or Savoring Mexico...

My main problem is due to my disappointment of China the Beautiful. The recipes didn't seem much like home cooking but more like the government-owned/fat ladden type of food you get.

SE Asia the Beautiful, in contrast, was fairly good but I noticed some recipes didn't seem all that authentic (which surprised me because I assumed the series was dedicated to making recipes as authentic as possible) in that the knowledge behind some of the recipes seemed misinformed/clearly from a non-native's point of view.

For example, the use of particularly condiments seemed to clash with the traditional way.

But after your mention of the Mexican book, I may have to give it a look. I'm interested in authentic, home-style food. Thanks for that.

Omnivore Books on Food: You're right. I did realise that different books had differnt authors...this may mean I need to personally go through all of them!


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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mbhank: Were there any of the Beautiful books that stood out to you? Any you didn't particularly like?

I have fourteen of the Beautiful books. I liked China and the Italian ones, but I haven't looked at them for a long time. I also just noticed that I did, indeed, have Savoring China. Again, it's been some time since I went through it.

Regards,

Hank


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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I've also got the Savoring China book, and use it on a fairly regular basis as a framework for dinners. I do adjust some of the instructions and ingredients, but that's probably just the Chengdu bias I picked up. Overall, I haven't gone wrong with their recipes (or, if I have, it's been my own fault).

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kalypso: You're getting me interested in Mexico the Beautiful; now I'm struggling to decide between that or Savoring Mexico...

My main problem is due to my disappointment of China the Beautiful. The recipes didn't seem much like home cooking but more like the government-owned/fat ladden type of food you get.

SE Asia the Beautiful, in contrast, was fairly good but I noticed some recipes didn't seem all that authentic (which surprised me because I assumed the series was dedicated to making recipes as authentic as possible) in that the knowledge behind some of the recipes seemed misinformed/clearly from a non-native's point of view.

For example, the use of particularly condiments seemed to clash with the traditional way.

But after your mention of the Mexican book, I may have to give it a look. I'm interested in authentic, home-style food. Thanks for that.

Who is the author on Savoring Mexico? I have a pretty good familiarity with Mexican cuisine authors and a good feel for who's recipes are structurally sound and based on traditional cooking. I think how successful these series (Savoring, Beautiful) of books are depends entirely upon who the authors are that are contracted to write them and how attuned to the culture or country they're writing about they really are.

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Who is the author on Savoring Mexico?  I have a pretty good familiarity with Mexican cuisine authors and a good feel for who's recipes are structurally sound and based on traditional cooking. I think how successful these series (Savoring, Beautiful) of books are depends entirely upon who the authors are that are contracted to write them and how attuned to the culture or country they're writing about they really are.

Just checked on Amazon -Marilyn Tausend. Is she any good?

I've also got the Savoring China book, and use it on a fairly regular basis as a framework for dinners.  I do adjust some of the instructions and ingredients, but that's probably just the Chengdu bias I picked up.  Overall, I haven't gone wrong with their recipes (or, if I have, it's been my own fault).

Yay! Are there any particular standout recipes from the book? Anything unusual (ie a recipe not commonly seen in other Chinese cookbooks)?

Also, I remember seeing a fried milk or something with was it noodles with milk in Savoring. Am I seeing things?


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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Who is the author on Savoring Mexico?  I have a pretty good familiarity with Mexican cuisine authors and a good feel for who's recipes are structurally sound and based on traditional cooking. I think how successful these series (Savoring, Beautiful) of books are depends entirely upon who the authors are that are contracted to write them and how attuned to the culture or country they're writing about they really are.

Just checked on Amazon -Marilyn Tausend. Is she any good?

Yes, she's very good. She's also the co-author of Mexico the Beautiful

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I've also got the Savoring China book, and use it on a fairly regular basis as a framework for dinners.  I do adjust some of the instructions and ingredients, but that's probably just the Chengdu bias I picked up.  Overall, I haven't gone wrong with their recipes (or, if I have, it's been my own fault).

Yay! Are there any particular standout recipes from the book? Anything unusual (ie a recipe not commonly seen in other Chinese cookbooks)?

Also, I remember seeing a fried milk or something with was it noodles with milk in Savoring. Am I seeing things?

The ones that Yoonhi keeps sending me back for are:

honey glazed walnut beef

beef with dried tangerine peel

and

hot and sour soup

The ones I use for general direction, are:

- mapu tofu

- spicy sichuan eggplant

Like I said, a lot of it is just good guidance, to follow up on what I've learned.

Have fun! :smile:

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I have, and frequently turn to, both Savoring Mexico and Mexico the Beautiful. Superb books each of them! :biggrin:

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I have Mexico the Beautiful and turn to it when I've forgotten how to make something (well, that and DK of course!). When I ate and made this food daily in Mxo, I didn't need a book, now its a great reference, and makes sharing recipes with friends much easier than having them watch me in the kitchen all day.

I was thinking of getting the SE Asia Beautiful based on my experience w/Mxo, but perhaps that's not so wise. Maybe I'll just stick with the Vietnamese I already have, and not get SE Asia till I get a chance to look @ Savoring edition

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I have Beautiful China (maybe Asia too) but I was not really aware that they were part of a series :sad:

and I did not know about Savoring series at all :wacko:

I definitely will have to do some research! :wub:


Edited by dmreed (log)

The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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<>I have Beautiful China (maybe Asia too) but I was not really aware that they were part of a series :sad: <>

There were at least 12 books in the "Beautiful" series.

<>and I did not know about Savoring series at all <>

The "Savoring" series is published by Williams-Sonoma.

Regards,

Hank


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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<>I have Beautiful China (maybe Asia too) but I was not really aware that they were part of a series  :sad: <>

There were at least 12 books in the "Beautiful" series.

<>and I did not know about Savoring series at all <>

The "Savoring" series is published by Williams-Sonoma.

Regards,

Hank

thanks...I found most of both series at Amazon and have ordered a few...mainly Chinese and other Asian.


The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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I have some of each series. I thought that I cook more from the "Savoring" than I do from the "Beautiful" series, but looking at them now, I am not sure.

I am a big fan of Joyce Goldstein's cookbooks. She happens to be the author of Savoring Spain and Portugal and Mediterranean The Beautiful Cookbook. I have both of those as well as some of the Italian, and the Mexico book from both series. I can sit down with any of those books, open up to any page, and see something that needs to be tried. Now that I think of it, that happens with most cookbooks. However, the photography in these books enhance the craving.

Other than having great recipes, the books are beautiful, and wonderful to read. Pour a glass of wine and travel to Europe while curled up in your favorite chair.

A few years ago, Costco had both series of books. The prices made it easy to give in to the "I really would like this book." addiction.

Note: The Tinga Poblana recipe in Savoring Mexico (P.158) is a real winner. I have tried other recipes for this and nothing has come even close. If you have the book, put it on your "Have to Make" list. Adding extra chorizo is always a good thing.


Edited by Bella S.F. (log)

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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Ok so I finally asked my sister (who currently lives in the US) to buy Savoring Mexico and Savoring America for me yay! It's very unfortunate though that even on amazon, the books are still rather expensive for someone who lives in Australia like me...taking into account the shipping costs and also converting the dollar.

It seems I can only receive my books next time I visit my sister...which is next year!

Now, I'm considering which other books (from either Savoring or The Beautiful series) to get...I hear Savoring India is exceptional!


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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