I'm highly irritated by the wasted opportunity of Corby Cummer's cookbook round up in today's New York Times. Considering how useful a truly informative listing of new cookbooks would be to all of us - especially us Christmas present seekers,I feel very annoyed that Corby Kummer (a perfectly knowledgeable and interested person)got away with such a lazy job.
The reviews consist mainly of vaguely general background information, full of fluff, read as though he simply looked the flap copy in most cases and the reviews also read as though he hasn't actually tried most of the books, or even read them carefully and critically.
I own one of the books, Cradle of Flavour, Home Cooking of the Spice Islands. It has the most helpful section on exotic ingredients I have ever seen in a cookbook but this is not mentioned;unusually evocative background information on life and eating in the Spice Islands but this is not mentioned.The recipes call for quite a list ingredients some out of the way such as fresh tumeric and fresh grated coconut but this is not mentioned - though he does casually refer to palm sugar.
Grrrr. How lazy, what a wasted opportunity.