Inventaire gourmand de la Méditerranée
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This ambitious collection of more than 2100 recipes from throughout the Mediterranean region runs almost 900 pages and works to display the myriad ways common ingredients are used from place to place.
Some chapters are devoted to a particular course or type of dish, but more are about types of ingredient (i.e., vegetables, fish and seafood, fruit). Within these chapters, we see how differently, say, spinach is treated from Algeria to France to Malta to Greece.
Author Fabien Vallos, who teaches philosophy and the history of images in the art schools of Arles and Angers, provides a country-by-country index, and a separate one by ingredient. He has photographed more than half of the dishes, and includes a number of tables which attempt to systematically characterize such things as filled pastas and condiments.
One could wish that Vallos had reinforced the work of this collection by providing more contextual details about the many dishes, but the book’s value lies in its breadth rather than its depth.Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. 896 pages. In French.