Sunday, May 19, 2019

Taste of History Cookbook, Reviewed

Part cookbook, part history lesson, part companion to PBS’ss Emmy award-winning series, A Taste of History, the Taste of History Cookbook by German born award-winning restaurateur and chef Walter Staib is a real winner. This book joins the list of six others that Staib has written including the City Tavern Cookbook, featuring recipes from his award-winning restaurant, City Tavern in Philadelphia, a recreation of the original 18th-century tavern.
In this book, Chef Staib shares with us 150 of his favorite recipes from the television series. Each one has step-by-step cooking techniques, is beautifully photographed, and accompanied by the chef’s personal tips and history of the recipes.
Staib makes re-creating these American classics recipes easy with his simple instructions, and helpful advice.
Dishes go from the simple (Chicken Noodle Soup) to the sublime (Stuffed Pheasant, Curried Shrimp, Guyanese Duck Curry, Baked Stuffed Sturgeon). They are also wonderful recipes for mouthwatering soups, salads, side dishes, and desserts.
If you grew up in the ‘70s when I did and used to see cans of Campbell’s Pepper Pot Soup on the shelves in your grocery store and wondered what on earth that soup was made of, now you can re-create your own using Chef Staib’s Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup recipe that he pairs with corn bread. While the main, traditional, ingredient is tripe, you can get the same delicious results by substituting pork shoulder. Having tried this recipe and satisfied my curiosity, I can highly recommend it.
The Buttermilk Biscuits and Brown Bread took me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Coconut Bread Pudding and Boston Cream Pie to my mother’s; both equally beckoned. The homemade Ketchup (to last 20 years), first published in the cookbook in 1745, I found one of the most intriguing, and is next on my list of recipes to try. Obviously it will be time consuming and a labor of love, but considering my late husband was a professor of 18th century literature and history, I cannot allow myself to pass this one by.
The desserts will have your mouth watering. The photos make the desserts leap off the page. Pistachio Financiers, Moravian Sugar Cake, and Strawberry Linzer Torte will have you heading for the kitchen and reaching for your apron.
I don’t think I’ve ever had such fun reading a cookbook. I also don’t think I have ever learned as much while reading one as I have here. I thoroughly enjoyed the history lessons and personal insights from Chef Staib. In addition, I have added City Tavern to my list of places to visit the next time I’m in the Philadelphia area. Look for this cookbook at your local store or get it here from Amazon.

Disclaimer I received a complementary copy of this book from hatchet book group in exchange for an honest review.

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