Aside from making every recipe and trying them, what other way is there to review a cookbook? I don’t have any idea, but I’m going to make an attempt anyway. I received The Tabasco Cookbook: Recipes with America’s Favorite Pepper Sauce from the kind people at Blogging for Books (www.bloggingforbooks.com) and requested it for two reasons. One, I knew my wife would love the recipes. Two, it would give me something new to write about, a challenge in a way.
To begin with, a few words about the appearance. This is a nice sturdy hardcover. It’s put together well and doesn’t appear cheaply made. A sleek, compact design and size make it the perfect fit for any shelf or to tuck into a spare kitchen drawer for easy access. I know no one buys a book, cookbook or otherwise, for the cover and design. Not even an art book. Let’s take a look behind the cover.
The pages are thick, glossy, and include some beautiful photographs. A few landscape shots of the Louisiana countryside. The rest are the way a finished dish should look. There isn’t a photo for every recipe though, and I think that’s my lone complaint. A photo in a cookbook serves two purposes, and both are of equal importance. A photo allows you to compare your finished product to see how you did and if you made it right. You can also see if a dish looks like something you want to make and eat.
Each recipe comes with a “piquancy scale” rating of one to four filled Tabasco bottles. What is piquancy? I’m glad you asked. Piquancy is a pleasantly sharp and appetizing flavor. The book points out piquancy isn’t the same as heat, and what might be hot and spicy to one person might not be to another. That said, if you can’t handle heat tone the recommended Tabasco dosage in recipes that rate a three or a four.
There’s 80 recipes spread across five categories. Breakfast and brunch. Soups, starters, and drinks. Mains. Sides and sauces. Desserts. My wife was happy to find recipes for all the bayou comfort foods. Things like cheese grits, gumbos, shrimp creole, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and even a classic Bloody Mary.
Well, I did it, and reviewed a cookbook. I went into this thinking it would be a tough task, but in reality it wasn’t too bad. I had fun writing a different a type of thing, and different is good. Sometimes. This time at least. I normally don’t like heat. I like flavor. A lot of these recipes look good and I know I’ll be trying a few of them once my wife decides what to make first.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016