I have lost count of the number of times when out dining, that I have wondered what certain things on the menu are. A menu can be often confusing with unfamiliar terms and dishes. Do you know your veloute from your terrine? Or what an Affogato is? Well, now you don’t have to. Here’s a book that helps you relish the food while dining out without having the worry of embarrassment or fear. Taking the Mystery Out of the Menu is a reference guide that lists out ingredients, dishes, flavors and cooking techniques.
Eating out is not only a ‘special event’ activity enjoyed by families and friends in our modern high-speed world, but very often a necessity for the great workforce whose long working day and often unsociable working hours allow little time for home food preparation. However, when eating out for whatever reason, it can be very confusing when presented with a menu of unfamiliar terms and dishes. This pocket guide will help diners to master the mysteries of the menu with ease!
Taking the Mystery out of the Menu – Review:
This book is divided in alphabetical order with terms and definitions, explaining each one of them. It serves more like a dictionary and it is pretty easy to crack. These are explanations on cooking techniques, dishes, spices, sauces and almost everything you can dream about which you can relate to food. The introduction to the book helped in understanding what to expect from the book.
I would highly suggest having this as a reference guide or a coffee table book that you could get back to at any time.
A Guest Post:
I am so glad to host the author who speaks about her travel experience to Trivandrum, South India.
During a memorable holiday in Trivandrum, South India with my husband and youngest son, we were approached by some villagers close to our guest house and offered the opportunity to sample an evening meal in their garden close to the shore. The family caught fish daily and the mother prepared the catch in her modest kitchen – an open fire beneath a lean-to shelter – in a delightful tropical garden. We had been invited to order our fish choices early that morning as ‘catch of the day.’ As we entered the garden ‘restaurant’ that evening, the moist warm velvet darkness enveloped us beneath the stars. The sea washed in beyond the garden perimeter, and we were greeted by the delicious smell of open wood-fire cooking, mingled with the aroma of herbs and sweet fruit.
We sat around a low bench/table on little stools under an awning, whilst the evening murmurs of the sea and distant voices drifted in on us with the warm darkness. Little pinpoints of oil lamp light guided our host to our rural table, and whilst we sipped freshly pressed fruit cocktails and local beers, he presented us with the most amazing central dish of lobster and crayfish and decorated with herbs and lemon slices, all served on huge fresh banana leaves. The residue from this first finger-licking course was wrapped within each banana leaf ‘plate,’ and disposed of, and then another fresh banana leaf ‘plate’ was placed in the center of the table. On this was displayed an amazing variety of beautiful flat fish – white fleshed beneath the fire charred and seasoned skin, with lemon, lime, and coriander accompaniment.
The delicately flavored juices from the fish and fruit made a wonderful fresh light dip for the local flatbread, which we enjoyed; before all was again wrapped and cleared.
More leaves were supplied as finger napkins and individual ‘plates’ before a colorful arrangement of fresh fruit was served to complete this idyllic meal.
My son has many times referred to this meal as the highlight of his gastronomic experiences, and I would not disagree. It was a superior yet humble experience in every way. Kerala is a long way away, and this ideal scenario would be difficult to replicate, but at least the simplicity of content and flavor of this meal would be well worth emulating on British menus. And as far as the dishes are concerned, we’ll just have to stick with the dishwasher and be thankful; or does anyone have a good supply of banana leaves?
About the Author:
After retiring from her career as a music teacher, Naomi Powell returned to Somerset with her husband, Maurice. She is an active member of the Ricard III Society, the Nelson Society and the Royal OverSeas League, as well as an enthusiastic gardener. From her home garden, she began Somerset Garden at the Limes, a business growing, harvesting and making her own preserves, which she operated for five years with retail outlets across North and South Somerset. This is her first book.
You can buy her book from here: Amazon UK
The book serves as a pocket guide to cuisine and understanding the menu. I would say, fine dining has just become easier and I’ve got a dictionary of food. I received a copy of this book from
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Authoright Marketing & Publicity in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book.
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