Cookbook Profile

Seductions of Rice

By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid


Seductions of Rice "Somewhere along the line we found ourselves hooked on rice, as a way of preparing meals. Just as in hundreds of millions of homes all around the world where rice is a staple food, we took on the habit of putting rice on to cook first thing in the kitchen. It's effortless. "

...Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid


How can one be seduced by something as ordinary as rice? Let these award winning authors and travelers show you the ways. In their second cookbook, Seductions of Rice authors Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid introduce you to-and allow you to be seduced by-the world of rice through more than two hundred photographs, two hundred authentic recipes, and dozens of personal stories from years of travel around the world.

Alford and Duguid exploded on to the American food scene in 1995 with the publication of their first book, Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker's Atlas, which taught a host of Americans about one of the world's most traditional and sustaining foods. In their second book, they explore another staple of daily life around the world-rice.

"Good rice is like good bread," they write. "It always tastes real and it always sparks an appetite. In fact, this is even truer with rice, as it goes so well with a staggering number of different foods, from Senegalese Peanut Stew to Yunnanese Spicy Pork."

Not so long ago, the range of rices on supermarket shelves ran from white (plain) to white (converted). In the last few years, the quality and variety of rices available has taken a giant leap forward. Today we can choose from among Thai Jasmine Rice, California Wehani, Brown Japanese Rice, Chinese Black Rice, and Gobindovog-just to name a few. Introductory chapters explore these varieties as well as the myriad ways of cooking, cultivating, cleaning, husking and milling rice and include a comprehensive rice dictionary-a guidebook for the world of rice.

Yet the heart of this book is how each culture really uses rice. Jeffrey and Naomi, with their sons Dominic, ten, and Tashi, seven, surveyed the world's great rice-eating traditions and created a book "about rice, and flavored rice dishes, and eating with rice as a staple food."

Uzbek women From the Thai way of rolling a ball of sticky rice and serving it with a Grilled Beef Salad to the Indian way with a spoonful of fragrant basmati rice and satisfying dal, to Persia's way of burying lamb in a pulao, the world's ways with rice are thoroughly explored. Seductions of Rice takes us to China, Thailand, Japan, India, Central Asia and Persia, the Mediterranean, Senegal, and North America and uncovers the dishes that all fit under the definition of good home cooking: easy, delicious, affordable and fun.

After reading this book, you may find yourself enjoying Chinese Cucumber-Sesame Salad over a bowl of rice on a hot summer's night or digging in to Turkish Slow-Cooked Lamb and Onion Stew on a dark winter's evening. Or you may watch as guests revel in rolling their own sushi at one of your parties. Perhaps an Indian dal with aromatic basmati rice will turn a difficult day into an enjoyable evening. Whether eaten in a bowl, on a plate, in a salad, or on a banana leaf-for breakfast, dinner, or dessert-rice is the great facilitator, unrivaled in its adaptability and versatility. It's the ultimate comfort food , yet easily turned into the most sophisticated of dishes. The seduction is complete.


Seductions of Rice
By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
October 1998
Nearly 200 recipes, 480 pages
Hardcover, jacketed, $35.00
ISBN 1-57965-113-5
Information provided by the publisher.


Seductions of Rice



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This page created November 1998