Picking up this book makes you realize just how much food 1001 dishes comprises. The book is a hefty 960 pages and good 8-9 pounds with the hard cover. The amazing photo of pomegranate seeds on the cover show you just what you are in store for. The book is filled with great full color photos. Every other page has a beautiful full color photo of one of the dishes. While not all of the dishes have a photo, the ones that do make your mouth water.
Each different food is listed by country of origin and is accompanied by a history and in depth description. Honestly, the book has everything. Sitting at my desk writing here, I am not sure that I could come up with a list of 1001 foods, let alone 1001 foods to die for. There is everything from Escargots au Beurre d’Ail from France to Deviled Kidneys from the United Kingdom. They even demystify the Smorgasbord. What is a Smorgasbord you ask, why it is the classic Swedish dish of of a large number of various small items. Very similar to a Chinese dim sum. Yes, we swedes love variety.
The book is organized very nicely based on type of food. It even has a really nice index for finding things quickly. My only problem with the book is that it does not have a recipe for every dish. Only about 1/2 of the dishes have recipes. The others while not having recipes do have a brief description of the ingredients and how the food is prepared. But many of the dishes that I find myself wanting to try lack recipes.
Even though the book lacks some recipes it is great for deciding what to eat. I have been randomly opening a page to determine “what’s for dinner”. It usually works out, but the other day the dish was surf and turf and I didn’t have any surf and or turf in the fridge. Luckily, the next day Jeff had me over for shrimp and flank steak tacos. Perfect! He must have the book too.
The photos in the book are amazing. I never knew that there were so many things that I have never tried. I am going to try to eat all 1001 things. A few I have already eaten, like pomegranates, peaches and olives. But there are still a vast amount that I haven’t eaten, and really have never heard of. This includes Doner Kababs (Turkish gyros), Stifado (Traditional Greek Stew) and Murgh Makhani (Indian butter chicken). All on my list to try.
Although this book lacks a lot of recipes it is really fun to read. If anything this is a great coffee table book. It is interesting to read as you find out the origins of world cuisine. Plus, the pictures are amazing, have I said that yet. If you pick it up make sure to play the, “whats for dinner game”. Watch out though, you could be eating Haggis for tomorrow’s dinner.