- Print Length: 528 Pages
- Publisher: Sterling Epicure
- Publication Date: November 7, 2017
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 145491940X
- ISBN-13: 978-1454919407
- File Format: PDF, EPUB
“Barton Seaver’s American Seafood is a comprehensive and inspirational exploration of lesser known species and rekindles an awareness of the people, places, and histories of our oceans.” –Eric Ripert, Chef & Co-Owner of Le Bernardin
With the growing trend to reintroduce US-caught seafood into our culinary lexicon, this trustworthy reference from prestigious writer, chef, and sustainability advocate Barton Seaver will be the go-to source for home cooks, culinary students, professional chefs, and anyone fascinated by American food culture. American Seafoodlooks at maritime history, including Native American fisheries; fishing technology (including aquaculture); the effect of imports on our diet, economy, and the health of our seas; the biology of taste; and the evolution of seafood cuisine, from Pine Bark Stew, red and white chowder, Po’ Boys, and Clam Bakes, to Baltimore Crab Cakes, Planked Salmon, Oysters Rockefeller, and Sushi. And although this is not a cookbook, Barton Seaver presents invaluable information on traditional culinary arts and his favorite ideas for taste pairings and preferred methods for cooking seafood. An index of species–with common, regional, and accepted names, all alphabetized–rounds out this must-have volume.
A beautifully illustrated compendium of history, ecology, and biology interspersed with recipes and cooking techniques, “American Seafood” is one of the most interesting (and most striking) books I own.
The content: I keep using the word “beautiful”, but that’s what this book is. The writing is no exception. It’s evocative, clear, professional, informative, and unique. You can’t read this book without learning a great deal about history, culinary arts, ecology, and culture. Also, I can personally attest to the quality of the recipes. There aren’t nearly as many as I expected, but what’s in here is delicious.
The aesthetics: each page is glossy and heavy-weight. The illustrations and photographs are stunning and beautifully reproduced. The cover is solid and quite heavy, with textured cloth and embossed graphics.
It weighs in at a hefty 500+ pages, with the heft and weight of a college textbook. There is so much in here, and all of it is fascinating. It’s beautiful enough to make a display piece, coffee table book, or a really nice gift.
If you want to learn about the seafood industry, fishing history, and watery ecosystems of the United States, this is the book for you! It’s incredibly interesting, beautifully bound, and unique. Highly recommended.
this is not a cookbook, and it’s not a book of recipes, though there are a few simple recipes included by the author, his preferred ways of cooking a fish. ‘Menhaden are too bony and oily for most people, I’ll give you that, but the oiliness can be diminished through proper preparation, either through curing or brining and allowing to air-dry. I then stew them with potatoes and other fish in bouillabaisse-type preparations, where I am layering flavors rather than making the menhaden the sole component. I also “red-cure” Menhaden exactly the same way I do anchovies, and use the unctuous fillets to add depth and savor to many dishes.’ or winter flounder, ‘I like to cook them whole, after scoring them deeply through the skin down to the bone. After four hours in a moderately intense brine, I cold smoke them for 45 minutes. The resulting meat is chewy and sweet with the fruity aroma of the smoke.’
if you’re feeling left out, there are pages on methods of brining by fishermen by regions, and even a diagram of the parts of a fish.
primarily, this is a photographic history of the seafood industry, of what barton seaver calls ‘connection’, the story of how seafood gets to the family table. it’s an encyclopedia of seafood with over five hundred species of fish listed alphabetically, each with an entry, some as long as ten pages, including gorgeous photographs. it’s a tribute to a part of our national heritage as catchers and consumers of seafood. it’s also an argument to change the perceptions of the ‘second-tiered’ status of seafood in the food industry.
This massive and beautifully illustrated and presented book’s chief flaw is that it is too large and heavy to just carry around and read cover to cover. It is too much of a coffee table book in presentation for its readable and useful text.
Basically an alphabetical encyclopedia of North American commercial seafood, it contains nice descriptions of marine varieties from Abalone to Wreckfish, aka Stone Bass (a variety of Sea Bass). It is written from an epicure and fisher’s point of view, not really declaring how to cook but how to eat and what, organized biologically in the fisheries manner with excellent descriptions of what it is and the peculiarities and relations of each, which is extremely important in knowing how to cook an unfamiliar fish. The first section contains a basic, and extremely well written discussion of fish anatomy for the epicure, a history of current and historic fishing methods, abd a good general introduction. The entirety is profusely illustrated with releavant and attractive pictures and the binding is suitable for the kitchen. Honestly it is that binding and its large size that are its chief drawback as I have found it compulsive reading and would love to carry it around for the days it will take me to read in its entirety, but I enjoy doing so at a good table.
Greatly recommended for those living where many varieties of seafood are available, and as the sort of gift that may not he fully appreciated until actually absorbed.