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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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on 8 October 1999
This book is one that has my cookery-shelf ultimate accolade - not chevrons or crowns in this case, but several pages with greasy thumb-marks, and at least three places where the book just falls open by itself (her recipe for Country Cornbread being one). In fact the only problem that I have with it is that it is so fat and so packed with goodies that it makes my wrists ache when I read it for too long! It's just the kind of cookery book that finds favour on my shelves - well thought out, clear and friendly. In fact, it very much feels as if you are having a chat over one of Sheila's delicious muffins or fried green tomato sandwiches (yes, as served at The Whistlestop Café).
Which is another good thing about the book - not only does Sheila give her favourite US recipes, you are party to her travels (with food of course) around the country as she collects the best of regional cooking. There are some great asides, interviews and snippets of information. And she has managed to get friends and restaurant owners to part with memorable recipes, which, unlike some restaurant recipes, you could easily achieve t home - and find even easier to eat.
A few words of warning. Some may not care for the colour scheme in the book - it is very red, white and blue (lots of very blue-printed text), but personally I liked it, and also felt that the small line illustrations (are they engravings, woodcuts or etchings, I wonder?) set-off the text nicely. Also, this is not a book to buy if you have to see a photograph of the finished dish in order to be able to cook it, because there are none. Everything is of course measured in US cups, and with US cooker settings (Farenheit) which does not present too much of a difficulty as there are some translations for other users.
So go on, treat yourself to a glass of The Champagne of the South (iced tea) use up that glut of green tomatoes, and take yourself off on a tour of America - you owe your taste-buds no less.
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on 17 April 2001
I ordered this book from AOL on a whim and it's one of the best cook books I've ever ordered. It's pages are brimming with recipes, all of which are fairly easy to make and cook. Best of all Sheila Lukins travels from East to West, and North to South of the USA to bring you everything from Clam Chowder to Meat Loaf, Muffins to Ice Tea.
The only drawback I had with the book was the occasional mention of an American ingredient that I couldn't find here in the UK. For example, half-and-half and solid vegetable shortening. (For anyone interested I've been led to understand that half-and-half is half milk, half cream but I'm still trying to find out what the English equivalent of vegetable shortening is!)
As a final note here's a variation on one of Ms Lukins recipies. When making the country cornbread on page 214 try adding some grated mature chedder cheese (about a cup full) and a tablespoon of minced jalapeno peppers. Both ingredients give the bread a little extra "zing"!
Anyway - buy the book and settle back to enjot the wonders of American cooking.
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on 17 August 2006
Even though I may be biased towards a book about American cooking (because I'm a massive fan of all things from the USA), this is one of the best recipe books I've ever seen. It is packed with over 600 recipes, anecdotes, product information, snippets of history and lists of restaurants and stockists. All in all, a bible of American cooking.

The delicious recipes are varied and cover everything from breakfast through to dinners (split into meat categories), sides and the all-American desserts, plus cocktails and appetisers to serve with them. I don't think I'll need to look at another cook book for a very long time! Some are simple but many are complex, meaning that this is not just a straight-forward book for the novice chef. Cooks looking to try more adventurous dishes will also be satisfied.
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on 26 June 2005
For anyone with a love of cooking and an equal love of all things american, this book is an absolute joy to read and use. It is as interesting for its history as the delightful recipes. The Cornbread is a firm favourite of my family as is the Indian Flatbreads that are so easy to make and are equally delicious served with curry (for the adults) or sprinkled with sugar (for the kids!)
As stated before, some of the ingredients are a puzzle but with the internet, it is not too hard to find out alternative names for things.
I love this book and it is without a doubt one that falls open at more than one recipe!
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on 25 February 2009
Chatty, clear, passionate and varied, this book is everything I'd hoped to find when researching Americana. I've ordered so many books on American food, but really, this should have been my first port of call. Okay, so there are no pictures, but the fantastically friendly style of writing, informative boxouts and mouth-watering recipes more than make up for it. I honestly believe this to now be one of my most favourite cook books and it's the first book I've ever read that I've wanted to give six stars to!

There's really not much that isn't covered by this book - it even has recipes for things you might not even have considered, like relishes and bread.

Overall, a fantastic recipe book and a great read! What higher praise could you ask for from a cookbook?
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2011
I have had this one for more years than I can remember and it is a book that I reach for at least once a month - not just to cook from but also to read for pleasure.

American food is often maligned because of the perception that everything is deep-fried and served with a mountain of fries (and maybe a bit of 'slaw') - we have TV shows like Man v Food for that.

This book is a comprehensive tour of the wide variety of dishes popular in all parts of the US of A and is surrounded by some attractive artwork and some nice tit-bits of insight and info about the food and the country.

No one book can encompass the cuisine of a nation as huge and diverse as the US - but this book gives you a good taster of what is available in an accessible and tempting form.

Probably a must have book for anyone interested in world foods!
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on 16 April 2013
If you are interested in American food then this is for you.
I am a fan of Sheila Lukins and she can do no wrong as far as I am concerned so a happy addition to my collection.
If you too love her books then Celebrate!may also fit the bill.
All Around the World Cookbook along with this too!
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on 11 April 2016
The book is OK. Probably not the best set of recipes I've encountered. The condition of the book was not very good. Quite stained but I didn't bother to return it as I could still read the recipes.
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on 1 June 2015
Faboulous Book!
Being an "anything american" Junkie (!) I am so pleased with this purchase.
Everything from starters, drinks, canapes, ice cream to all time american classics and a bit of narative for good measure.
Cannot wait to get started!
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on 14 June 2012
I bought this book before moving back to England and I just love it. I have read this cookbook from cover to cover and it really helps me from missing my favorite home foods. I would high recommend this book for any cook who wants some all american home cooking.
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