THE UNITED STATES COOKBOOK by Joan D'Amico

THE UNITED STATES COOKBOOK

Fabulous Foods and Fascinating Facts from All 50 States
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This earnest amalgam of cookbook and geography lesson has some charm, but mostly falls flat. Beginning with a brief rundown of skills and safety rules about measuring, mixing, cutting, and using kitchen appliances, the authors then turn to the United States by region (New England, Southwest, Pacific, etc.). Each state gets an outline map, a box of info about its state tree, flower, etc. a few paragraphs of history, and an indication of some of its food products. This is followed by a regional recipe, nicely laid out with ingredients, steps, the time it takes, and the tools needed. Each state’s section ends with “Fun Food Facts” and a note about a local food festival. The research is sometimes frustrating (in what African language is “goober” a word for peanut?) and some terms that should be explained aren’t (what’s shortening?). There’s a heavy reliance on prepackaged, canned, and frozen ingredients in the recipes. Margarine and oil pan spray are used throughout, which might allay some health concerns but will surely offend some purists, too. There isn’t much description to carry youngsters through the tricky parts, like yeast dough; or warnings about, for example, adding melted margarine to egg yolk and what might happen if the margarine is too hot. Budding young chefs will be better served by other readily available regional cookbooks. (Nonfiction. 914)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-471-35839-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000