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Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables: A Commonsense Guide


by Elizabeth Schneider


As Elizabeth Schneider points out in her introduction, the immigrant culture of America is constantly restocking our markets and produce stores with "ethnic" fruits and vegetables that were hitherto unknown to any but the most worldly gourmets. Just as ginger, bean sprouts, and avocados were once strange, exotic substances, so Vidalia onions, fava beans, and passion fruit are becoming more common in stores nationwide. 
 In this magnificent, encyclopedic cookbook, Schneider discusses each of 80 fruits and vegetables, its origins, history, and appearance, its flavor, uses, and nutritional highlights. She tells how to shop for it and what to look for, how to store it and how long it'll keep, then she provides a selection of recipes (there are 420 in all) to inspire and reward your new culinary quests. Richard Sax's Hot and Sour Soup-Stew is a lovely way to try out Chinese cabbage, Sautéed Fennel with Lemon makes one wonder how one existed so long without it, and Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings and Bacon provide you with the wherewithal to enjoy this ultimate comfort food in your own home, even if you don't hail from down South. Schneider's Commonsense Guide is an irresistible reference.
--Stephanie Gold,


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