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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 March 2008
I bought this book after reading a review in one of the Sunday papers. It is a gem. It presents the authentic face of modern Spanish cooking and it's influences, as well as a comprehensive selection of older classics. In addition, in this English edition, it takes time to explain terms and techniques that you might not be familiar with.

It makes a great present in that not only is it beautifully written, but also features some great illustrations.

Above all, it contains recipes that are "do - able". Think not of Roux/Ramsey/Blanc, but more Delia Smith and above all Nigel Slater.

Overall, a superb introduction to Spanish cooking presented in a stylish way, which I cannot find fault with.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2007
I had heard about 1080 Recipes from Spanish friends, who claim that this book is the most reliable guide to cooking Spanish food. My language skills are OK, but not up to following recipes, so it's great to have the book in English. It's a substantial volume, with lots of colourful illustrations and it's going to take me a while to work through all the recipes. As you might expect there are a lot of seafood recipes - almost 150, but I was pleasantly surprised to find 136 pages on Vegetables and Mushrooms, which will help me to do more interesting things with the contents of the weekly veg box. It would make a great Christmas present - it's more interesting than the Nigella/Jamie books! I have to give it five stars, as it's such good value for such a beautiful, and useful, book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2007
Make room! What first impressed me about this book is the sheer number of recipes packed into this tome. Unlike the offerings from the celebrity chefs, half the book is not wasted upon 'lifestyle photography' with the chef licking their fingers or staging a dinner party. Instead, the recipes come thick and fast - 72 tapas in the first 50 pages alone - with straightforward instructions, simple ingredients and only the occasional illustration.

My first quibble with the book is that many of the recipes seem bland, with few suggestions for extra seasoning. The mustard and cream was delicious with chicken and rice, but only after I used three times the mustard and added turmeric and chili powder.

Most recipes serve six which is perfect for large gatherings, so this will help me with many dinner parties to come. Otherwise ingredients and cooking times need reduced if just for a couple diners. However, your presentation skills will be tested because the simplicity of the recipes mean they often lack plate appeal, judging by many of the photos.

Also, there are times that complex procedures aren't fully explained or when special implements are not described adequately. Want to make churros? Essentially all the book says is that you'll need a churrera - something to look out for on my next trip to Spain, I suppose?

Like the British, I am sure the Spanish love foreign flavours, but I wasn't sure why space was spent on things like chicken curry, tiramisu and vichyssoise.

Finally, not all the recipes are unique. Sometimes one basic recipe is 'spun off' with up to 5 or 6 variations. Still, ninety dozen recipes (about 3 different meals every day for a year) is enough to keep any chef busy in the kitchen, so it may be awhile before I get around to Phaidon's Italian companion, The Silver Spoon!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 1 November 2007
having just borowed this book from my local library im now rushing to order my own copy. even after a quick ruffle though you can see how well used this is going to become, i doubt it will leave the kitchen! the recipes are simple and look delicious, the illistrations are pretty and the little photo pages are useful i think anyone would find many favourites in this book, one to be handed down the family cooking stains on pages and all, now im inspired to find out about italys favourite cokbook "the silver spoon"
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 March 2008
When travelling to Spain over the years, I have gained a wide range of tastes for Spanish food. Well I thought I had till I came across this gem of a book.

As the sticker on the front of the book says, this is the bible of Spanish cooking in every sense. The different recipes in here could keep you going for years. Having tried a few of them already, I know that this book has definitely converted me to cook Spanish style food whenever I now go out there. The recipes all work brilliantly; the book is beautifully put together.

The book also includes foods from all the different Spanish regions

This book is up there with the best, and anything Spanish you care to cook, you are sure to find it in here. It's a big robust book, with wonderful pictures and illustrations, and is sure to bring many years of enjoyment. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough it's just Magnífico!
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on 24 August 2015
This is a beautiful English edition of an update of a real Spanish classic.
I bought it having seen it in a friend's kitchen. Another pal of mine has an ancient, tattered tiny paperback cook book that has been her kitchen mainstay for many, many years ...a sort of Spanish Delia. I eventually persuaded her to lend it to me for a weekend, and realised it was the original of this new book!

This new edition is great...now a huge hardback , joyously illustrated, it will make you want to try lots of thing out as well as giving sound recipes for the Spanish classics of home cooking. A joy for cook book lovers and cooks alike...a great gift, too.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2009
I have the Spanish version of this book and I love it. It is excellent for what it is - a huge collection of lovely recipes for dishes which are eaten by the average Spanish family of today.

However, I have only given it 4 stars because some of the recipes are not traditionally Spanish and are borrowed from other cuisines, eg French, Italian and even British. Also I have never come across a traditional Spanish recipe which uses mange-touts.

Don't let that put you off buying the book though - there are masses of traditional Spanish recipes for you to try.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2009
In Spain, this book is the everyman cookbook, in a similar vein to how we consider Delia's 'complete'. I think the previous criticisms that the book is too 'dull' or 'simplistic' are somewhat missing the point. As in England where I'm sure most people do not eat extravagant gourmet restaurant-style meals every day, these recipes are typical Spanish staples and as such give a wonderful insight into real Spain - not the Spain we tourists are lead to believe exists in the restaurants we visit.
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on 22 November 2012
After a few weeks with the book I must say I'm very pleased with the purchase. The book has many classic Spanish recipes that match with the ones I've been trying in Spain. The translation from the original seems very good also. I specially like the recipes by famous Spanish chefs at the end of the book. A must for Spanish cuisine lovers :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2010
When I grew up my mother had this book at home, it brings me very good memories.Great cooking book, I love this particular edition. The recipes are really easy and in my opinion 100% Spanish. I really recommend it if you want a good book of Spanish recipes.
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