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Rice: A Global History (by Renee Marton)

by: Renee Marton

London UK: Reaktion Books 2014, $10.99, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-78023-350-5

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2015 Issue: 22(2) page(s): 28

This book is also not a cookbook, but it does have twenty-four recipes. They are written in a variety of styles; and the volume is one in 'The Edible series.' All of them are edited by Andrew F. Smith, and more than forty have been published to date. This one includes five chapters titled: Country and Culture; The Old World; The New World; The Rise of the Consumer; Art, Ritual and Symbolism. They are followed by twenty-four recipes from many sources, their websites listed after each recipe.

The book ends with a four-page 'Selected Bibliography' of sixty-two references, fifteen websites and Associations, a general thank you with Acknowledgements, and a Photo Acknowledgements page (their spelling). There is also a six-page two column Index. On the rear cover, The Wall Street Journal is quoted as saying the book is “embellished with clever illustrations and a nice selection of historical and contemporary recipes.” The Chicago Tribune advises it has “food memoirs, salacious and exotic, colorful, powdered, sweet, greasy, and globe-trotting,..sharp and speedy little reads, spotted with off-kilter illustrations.”
Chicken Congee
½ cup uncooked short grain rice, rinsed well
6 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast
½ teaspoon salt
1. Put rice and chicken stock in a three-quart pot, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours. Then add the salt and two tablespoons of water.
2. Remove the skin from the chicken, slice it with the grain, and flatten each piece slapping it with the side of the cleaver.
3. When congee is ready, add the chicken and turn off the heat, and let it stand for five minutes, then serve in soup bowls.

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