Cookbook Profile

Saveur Cooks
Authentic American

By the editors of Saveur magazine

Saveur Cooks  
"...not just a food magazine, perhaps the ultimate food magazine."


In just three years, Saveur magazine has won six James Beard Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and was named Magazine of the Year by Advertising Age. Its circulation has ballooned to more than 1.65 million readers per issue of food lovers who are drawn to its superb recipes, excellent editorial content and stunning photographs. Saveur Cooks Authentic American is the first cookbook to come from this heralded magazine. In this glorious look at the food traditions and innovations throughout America, the editors, Colman Andrews, Dorothy Kalins, and Christopher Hirsheimer, have gathered 175 recipes and lavishly showcased them in more than 400 color photographs, making this one of the most valuable and beautiful cookbooks of this holiday season.

"We are all immigrants here, or the children of immigrants—even those 'native' Americans whose ancestors walked down from Siberia," Colman Andrews writes in the Introduction to Saveur Cooks Authentic American. "And as each generation of newcomers to this country discovered in its turn, if our streets weren't exactly paved with gold, they were certainly lined with food shops." and each wave of immigrants brought not only their grandmothers' recipes, "but their basic culinary processes, their tastes, their food traditions. Some of these they adapted to new ingredients or to the new realities of American life; others they clung to as cultural talismans, with the tenacious nostalgia of the uprooted. Either way, they enriched our gastronomy."

Praised for their special way of putting food in its geographical, social and historical context, the editors of Saveur Cooks Authentic American present a selection of never-before-published recipes as well as their acclaimed previously- published recipes that showcase some of America's most important historic and culinary regions. Saveur takes the reader to Arthur Avenue in New York's Bronx —a haven of more than 200 Italian businesses packed in seven blocks. Here writer/artist Ed Giobbi finds the ingredients for his Cranberry Bean Soup. In the South Carolina Low country, Miss Daisy's Red Rice, redolent with smoky bacon and crushed tomatoes, has been wowing locals for decades. The savory White Beans with Linguica Sausage hails from Portuguese immigrant fishing villages dotted along the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coastline. At the Gustavus Inn at Glacier Bay near Juno, Alaska, the owners serve a Poached Salmon with Egg-Caper Sauce. Rose's Stuffed Calamari in "Gravy" is inspired by the Italian traditions of San Francisco's North Beach area. The recipe for Roast Lamb with Potatoes doesn't begin to suggest the aromatic thrill of this Greek-American dish, a specialty served during the Greek Easter season. Here a marinated and trimmed leg of lamb roasts slowly over a bed of potatoes catching the juices of the meat, as the delicious smell of garlic perfumes the entire house. Classics of the American melting pot are offered in abundance . Saveur Cooks Authentic American, always connected to the cook, the region, and the tradition that created them: Aunt Gillie's Matzo Ball Soup, Marion Cunningham's Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing (she stoutly defends the much maligned Iceberg lettuce as "a perfect creation,"), Macaroni and Cheese, Down-East Baked Beans, Fried Catfish with Tartar Sauce, Maine Lobster with Drawn Butter, Shrimp and Crab Etouffée, Roast Chicken, Mrs. Garrett's Chicken Pies, Roast Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing, Steak Diane, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Country Ham with Redeye Gravy, Barbecued Ribs, Came Picada Burritos, Meatloaf Autumn Roasted Vegetables, Mrs. Apple's Creamed Corn, Fried Eggplant, Mashed Potatoes with Butter, Onion Rings, French Fries, Sweet Potato Casserole, Baking Powder Biscuits with Strawberry Freezer Jam, Cornbread, Buttermilk Waffles, Pumpkin Pie, Sam's Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Very Moist Chocolate Layer Cake, and Hazelnut Brownies.

An informational and anecdotal sidebar with stories of people, places, and the rituals of America's culinary traditions accompanies each of the recipes in . Saveur Cooks Authentic American. We learn, for instance, that the matzo ball has regional differences-a Dallas version is made with pecans and a Louisiana adaptation uses hot pepper and scallions. The Spinach Salad story tells us that spinach was first cultivated in Persia for the enjoyment of cats. And did you know that cheesemaking was introduced in Wisconsin by Yankee farmers from New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut in the 1830's?

The book concludes with a section devoted to that quintessential American pastime—the cocktail hour. There are recipes for cocktails with appropriate food to accompany each libation: the Martini with Roasted Almonds, the Mai Tai with Rumaki, the Margarita with Guacamole, and Mint Juleps with Benedictine Sandwiches.

While Saveur Cooks Authentic American finds recipes from outstanding home cooks, farmers and innkeepers throughout every region of the country, it doesn't neglect modern food trends in America nor the talented chefs and cooks who continue to add to the evolvement of the American palate. In a recipe created by renowned American chef Jonathan Waxman, we are shown how to prepare a Whole Striped Bass Baked in Salt. From Le Rosier, an ante-bellum-style inn located in the Louisiana bayou country, chef Hallman Woods III offers Quail Jambalaya, his refined version of a classic local dish composed of typical regional ingredients. Other well-known chefs whose recipes are featured here include Lydia Shire of Biba and Pignoli restaurants in Boston, and Los Angeles-based Michael Roberts contributes a recipe for Corn Risotto, an unusual variant on the famous Italian rice dish.

Saveur Cooks Authentic American explores the rich array of local cuisines that flourish across the United States. It unequivocally demonstrates why America today may be the best place in the world to lift a knife and fork.


Saveur Cooks Authentic American
By the Editors of Saveur Magazine
Chronicle Books
Hardback, $40.00
320 pages, full-color photographs
Publication Date: November 1998
ISBN: 0-8118-2160-9
Information provided by the publisher.


Saveur Cooks Authentic American



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This page created April 1999