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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
.. this great slab of a book (888 pages) falls a little short of its aim to be "a journey through the great cuisines of the world".

Clearly cobbled together from a multitude of Lonely Planet guides, it provides an entertaining if rather superficial introduction to some 48 cuisines from around the world. Not surprisingly, the big hitters - France, India, China etc. figure largely here, whereas there are some surprising major omissions (Nepal and Bangladesh spring immediately to mind) and a few curious inclusions (which I thought I'd better not name at the risk of peeing some readers off, but seriously, is Canadian cuisine that distinctive?). Think I would have preferred to see fewer pagers splurged on the major players and even just the odd page devoted to Icelandic, Maltese, Croatian food etc.

Each section provides a little background to the culture behind each cuisine, plus some important etiquette do's and don't s. The photographs are excellent and evocative throughout.

There are, however, disappointingly few recipes (the "Cook This" sections) and, if you're looking to whet your appetite to experiment at home with more exotic cuisines, then you will probably be disappointed. Would have been nice to see some advice for the travelling vegetarian too.

Rather inadequately, the index is laid out in country order, so it's not easy to look up a particular dish, unless you already know exactly where it comes from.

For a quick browse, before you visit a country, this is worth a look, or even to leave out for your guests to admire as a coffee table book (but even then, its great cuboid slab-shape isn't the ideal fit).

Not quite sure who this is aimed at. Whilst certainly attractive enough, its scattergun approach will probably prove frustrating if you're seeking genuine detail about a particular cuisine and the paucity of recipes in a book of this title is, quite frankly, bizarre.
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like other Lonely Planet Mini publications, ‘The Food Book,’ is not particularly small as it has heavy hard-back binding and a staggering 888 pages! It is split into sections by country (47 countries are represented here) including popular dishes from Italian, Indian and Mexican cooking as well as cuisine from less-well known countries such as Georgia, Ethiopia and Guatemala. Every country follows a similar format with a brief introduction to that country and then information and photos presented about a range of themes (Culture, Feasts, Essential Produce, Defining Dishes, Drinks, Regions, Etiquette, Shopping etc.) The downfall to this book is that it is not totally clear what its aim is or who it is targeted at. It isn't a coffee table book due to the size and whilst some of the photos are great, it wouldn't be a reason to purchase the book; it isn't a recipe book either as there are only a few included here. It is a nice book to flick through and maybe inspire you to try some new ingredients, flavours or methods of cooking whether on your travels or at home.
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VINE VOICEon 2 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Weighing in at just shy of 900 pages this square tomb takes you on a worldwide excursion including the food and cultural traditions of around 50 countries across the globe. Packed with great imagery and food that'll definitely make you hungry it sets out to explore the food, traditions and more that places are known best for.

In each of the country segments we find details of some of their best known dishes, an odd recipe and also some of the cultural elements - like where the foods come from, traditions around eating or festivals and a little bit of history. This is how beer where the book unfortunately while lovely and makes for a great coffee table tomb or quick flick through falls down on actually being useful - it's not a cook book or a travel book instead something that doesn't quite fulfil either but does so in a very beautiful way.

Beauty definitely sits throughout the book but to some extent to the trade off with content - while this is a nice to have I can't see anyone using this in a practical sense for anything in particular, it's going to sit on the shelf or table and probably stay there for people to remark on. Lonely Planet have produced some great travel inspiration books, a couple of which I own, but this one just slips shy of the mark.
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In terms of content, this is a perfectly useful reference book - with a good (albeit general) overview of various forms of world cuisine.

It is clear that this has been assembled from the various individual guides in the Lonely Planet collection.

There are 2 issues for me

Firstly the format.

It is a very hefty tome. The decision to publish it in a small square format means that it ends up being a very thick and cumbersome book. It is certainly too heavy to travel with and not at all easy to read without the help of a table to support the weight. It would have been better to use a larger format and thus fewer pages.

The second issue is that I don't quite see the point in this book.

It is not detailed enough to give a real insight into the various national and regional cuisines - and I can't see who would need a general overview of this nature. If you were doing a world tour, you wouldn't take this with you.

So it doesn't suit the traveller and it doesn't suit the foodie. Who is it for? Not for me.
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This thick tome seems to be a cobbling together of Lonely Planet articles. Ir is beautifully illustrated with very colourful ;photos and each chapter, devoted to a country consists of a sharp run around the world with every chapter based on the same format of Culture, Regions, Feasts, Etiquette, Defining Dishes, Main ingredients and Drinks.

In some cases the chapter ends with a recipe which seems rather random and may be a drink, savoury course or a dessert but this is not consistent and with such a hefty food book - over 800 pages - i expected many more recipes., which begs the question of who is this actually aimed at?

There is far too little information for it to be any use as a guide book and again too little for any more than the most basic introduction to the culinary delights of each country and, as stated it is not a cook book. Also, the format of 800 pages thrust into such a stocky volume makes it very difficult to handle.

Altogether a bit of a publishing mystery for me.

.
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VINE VOICEon 30 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Food Book is one of those books that does what it says on the tin, namely explore food — from a host of regions and countries. This comprehensive resource is a must have for any foodie, not only covering the basics of specific country cuisines such as the fundamental techniques and ingredients, but also looking at aspects of the culture such as etiquette when it comes to dining in a given country (for example, did you know that in France the custom is to leave cutlery crossed on the plate when finished, rather than side by side as is the custom in Britain?). As you would expect, there are also key recipes to keep adventurous cooks satisfied in the kitchen!

The book is extremely detailed, providing a really solid all-round view of each individual area of cuisine. As such, it is great as a companion book to tourist guides and similar publications. Great for those with a passion for food-based travel!
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I might just be there perfect target audience for this book. I like travel and am a total foodie / drinkie (?). When I go on holiday, I go for the local food and beer, not the museums or architecture, etc.

The book is a reasonably detailed guide to the food and drink of 47 countries, from France and Italy, to Ethiopia and Ghana. I didn’t notice any obvious omissions.

In these kinds of books, I find reading your own entry, gives a good idea of how accurate the book is. The British Isles lists, among other things, Curry, Pasties, Scones, Fish and Chips, a Full English, Sunday Roast, Apple Crumble and Beer, so not really a ground breaking insight.

However, there are lots of nice photo’s and few recipes, and all in all, it’s nice just to flick through when you have 5 or 10 minutes to kill. An ideal bathroom book.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is BIG, both in size and in content. About the same size as a square brick (and around the same weight), the production value and quality is excellent.

Inside the book goes around the world, dedicating a couple of dozen pages to the cuisines of each country and region. It goes through the history, culture, cooking and recipes that go into the food of that area. It's really an eye opener.

Not really a cookbook as such, more of an overview (although that doesn't do it justice), it has really inspired me to cook.

You should consider this as the illustrated contents edition that goes with your encyclopaedia of cookbooks. You flick through this, find something that strikes your interest then dig out some recipes.

I simply cannot recommend enough.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must admit when I chose this book (and it was likely through my own fault in not reading the description/other reviews properly), I was expecting a culinary tour of the world packed full of delicious recipes. Instead you do indeed get a thorough and insightful culinary tour of multiple countries, but what in my view at least is lacking are the recipes.

There are some recipes in here, but they are few and far between. The images are lovely and the book is well-presented. If you're interested in learning about world cuisine, this is ideal. For the budding chef however, I would recommend that you look elsewhere.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Hmm, where to begin.

As someone else has pointed out this feels like it has been cobbled together from other lonely planet guides.

In itself this is not a bad thing - it is great for inspiration but i just didn't feel like it was very cohesive. To be honest it put me off.

I will update this a bit when I have read more but so far not the best first impression.
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