Why have we forgotten dishes that were once beloved? Are they hopelessly out of touch, or can they speak to modern appetites?
Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal, takes a fresh look at former popular standards and, where needed, freshens them up in this thoughtfully written book, which we suspect that many people will treat almost as a novel, so lucent is her prose. She does nothing radical to the likes of watercress soup, deviled chicken, cheese soufflé, roast oysters, or crêpes suzette. She simply looks at them as any good cook does and adapts ever so slightly.
As Mimi Sheraton says in her introduction to the book, Adler, "insistent on preserving bygone classics... determines that their past meanings need reinterpreting for modern life—that time constraints might limit cooking processes, that ingredients need to change. She sets out to make those edits, and succeeds—with skill and humor." In this she is aided by wine pairings from sommelier Juliette Pope, which accompany an array of suggested seasonal menus.
Charming, never insistent, often inspiring, Adler adopts an approach that is rarely heard these days: gentle persuasion.
Hardcover. Watercolors and line drawings throughout by Mindy Dubin.
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