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This is the year "It's Greek to me" becomes the happy answer to what's for dinner. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the upcoming epic Troy, the 2004 Summer Olympics returning to Athens--and now, yet another reason to embrace all things Greek: The Olive and the Caper, Susanna Hoffman's 700-plus-page serendipity of recipes and adventure.

In Corfu, Ms. Hoffman and a taverna owner cook shrimp fresh from the trap--and for us she offers the boldly-flavored Shrimp with Fennel, Green Olives, Red Onion, and White Wine. She gathers wild greens and herbs with neighbors, inspiring Big Beans with Thyme and Parsley, and Field Greens and Ouzo Pie. She learns the secret to chewy country bread from the baker on Santorini and translates it for American kitchens. Including 325 recipes developed in collaboration with Victoria Wise (her co-author on The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook, with over 258,000 copies in print), The Olive and the Caper celebrates all things Greek: Chicken Neo-Avgolemeno. Fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon and coriander. Siren-like sweets, from world-renowned Baklava to uniquely Greek preserves: Rose Petal, Cherry and Grappa, Apricot and Metaxa.

In addition, it opens with a sixteen-page full-color section and has dozens of lively essays throughout the book--about the origins of Greek food, about village life, history, language, customs--making this a lively adventure in reading as well as cooking.

Topics: Healthy Habits, Food History, Informative, Cookbooks, Mediterranean, and Greece

Published: Workman eBooks on
ISBN: 9780761164548
List price: $19.95
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Adventures in Greek cooking? Adventures indeed. This book describes the adventures Greeks from back in the day used to have and how and why they formed certain recipes and used them for certain things. A bit of history, science, and cookbook all in one. Also, I'm using this book to have 2 of the best foodstuffs at the 4th of July party so that's a nice kicker as well.more
This book is very informative with regards to Greek culture and Greece, has gorgeous pics, and the recipes are fun.more
Having never been to Greece, I won't even begin to comment on how "authentic" Ms. Hoffman's recipes are. They are, however, accompanied by many sidebars, articles, anecdotes and mini history lessons that make the recipes seem like illustrations in a wonderful travel book. The recipes run the gamut from difficult (exotic ingredients and complicated prep) to simple (glass of water, anyone?) and not all dishes are for everyone. But there is a nice sense of generality to the collection, from the traditional to the seasonal, as if everything you ever wanted to *sample* from a Greek table is in this book. What really makes it so attractive, however, is the conversational running commentary kept up by the author throughout. One learns why water is such a sacred inclusion at the Greek table, why Constantinoble became Istanbul, and what it takes for a foreign woman to be accepted by her Greek neighbors. Whether giving us a history lesson or just a glimpse into modern daily life, Ms. Hoffman's experiences in the Greek Isles are an invaluble inclusion here. Perhaps even enough to start a new sub-genre: Culturebooks!more
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Reviews

Adventures in Greek cooking? Adventures indeed. This book describes the adventures Greeks from back in the day used to have and how and why they formed certain recipes and used them for certain things. A bit of history, science, and cookbook all in one. Also, I'm using this book to have 2 of the best foodstuffs at the 4th of July party so that's a nice kicker as well.more
This book is very informative with regards to Greek culture and Greece, has gorgeous pics, and the recipes are fun.more
Having never been to Greece, I won't even begin to comment on how "authentic" Ms. Hoffman's recipes are. They are, however, accompanied by many sidebars, articles, anecdotes and mini history lessons that make the recipes seem like illustrations in a wonderful travel book. The recipes run the gamut from difficult (exotic ingredients and complicated prep) to simple (glass of water, anyone?) and not all dishes are for everyone. But there is a nice sense of generality to the collection, from the traditional to the seasonal, as if everything you ever wanted to *sample* from a Greek table is in this book. What really makes it so attractive, however, is the conversational running commentary kept up by the author throughout. One learns why water is such a sacred inclusion at the Greek table, why Constantinoble became Istanbul, and what it takes for a foreign woman to be accepted by her Greek neighbors. Whether giving us a history lesson or just a glimpse into modern daily life, Ms. Hoffman's experiences in the Greek Isles are an invaluble inclusion here. Perhaps even enough to start a new sub-genre: Culturebooks!more
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