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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cookbook review - Turkish Cookery by Inci Kut

ISBN-10: 975-479-100-7
Original publication date: 1992
Edition publication date: 1993
Format: paperback
Publisher: Net Turistik Yayinlar
Pages: 141
Dimensions: 7.5 X 8.5 x 3/8
# of recipes: 175-200
Dietary scope: (Atkins, fat-free etc): Turkish Cuisine
Intended audience: people who want to cook authentic Turkish food
Photos: 1 or more photos every 2 pages
Index: no
Arrangement: by course
Other information (i.e. - tips, history, etc): there is a some historical or cultural notes
Lists Nutritional information: no
Lists Servings: yes
Utilizes packaged foods: only in a couple of recipes
Low fat: not really
Low sodium: not really
Low sugar: not really
Low carb: not really
Recommended skill level: Journeyman (I’m done with boxes – what’s next?)
Points – (each question can have up to 5 points) – 3.14
Hits the intended audience? 5
Picture to recipe ratio 4
Good format 3
Good table of contents 5
Good index 0
Anthropology rating: 1
% of recipes I would make: 75%
I like? yes

The only way this cookbook could have been more Turkish is if it was written in Turkish, my copy even has a price sticker in Turkish Lira. It could have possibly benefited from being proofread by a native English speaker, but that does give it a bit of charm. I can’t help but smile every time I look at a recipe with Egg-Plant in it even though this is one food that I can truly not eat, which is also why the % of recipes that I would make is smaller then it could be. If you take out the recipes with eggplant I would probably make over 90% of the remaining at least once. I am not a huge fan of liver or tripe, and there are a few other recipes that the ingredients would be a bit hard to come by in Minnesota, fresh anchovies for example. It is not written with American measurements, and at first you might look at a recipe and see that it calls for a ‘glass’ of something. There is a nice table at the front of the book that lets you know that a ‘glass’ equals 1 American cup, or 5/6th of a British breakfast cup.

It has a lot of pictures, not quite a picture for every recipe but pretty close. One of the things that I liked about the pictures is that if you are unfamiliar with the food most are photographed in such a way as to show you what the finished product looks like, for example baked Borek. Now I understand what I didn’t from a previous book. Yes, you place the filling on the dough and roll it up like a cigar, and then you shape it into a big, flat snail shape.

The format, while not totally bad is, busy. The pages are separated into columns, two wider columns with a narrower one separating them which wouldn’t be bad. But then those two wider columns have a line on either side, and each ingredient listed has a line underneath it, all this just adds visual noise. Also the page numbers are a bit unusual; each individual number is in a black box, so page 26 has two black boxes each with a number in it. You will know what section of the book you are in because each page has top boarder in black with the section name in it. I don’t think that this was needed since it is pretty obvious what section you are in once you look at the recipe. So visually there is a lot going on on each page.

The table of content is almost as good as an index, which is good since there is no attempt at an index. You could argue that with a cookbook this small it doesn’t need an index, but really with a book this small how hard could it be to add one?

This cookbook could easily get a 4-5 rating except for the lack of index, historical or cultural information and the busy formatting.

Note: my husband, who is the kind of person that does exactly what the recipe says had difficulty with the recipes that he tried. I am a more of read the ingredients and interpret what it says to do. So depending on your ‘style’ this book may be more difficult to use.



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