Friday, October 30, 2015

Olympia Provisions by Elias Cairo and Meredith Erickson

Olympia Provisions by Elias Cairo and Meredith Erickson is a newly published upscale niche cookbook with an eclectic mix of meat recipes. One might wonder why in this day anyone would purchase a forty dollar cook book when there are so many free recipes available on the internet. This is much more than a cook book but also an entertaining documentary.  There are still some people out there who prefer a physical cookbook that they can shelve in their kitchen rather than a collection of printed out recipes.  This book is a beautifully bound hardcover with full color photos of exotic looking meals printed on  thick card-stock paper.  It is a work of art- which it needs to be- in order to compete with the convenience of online recipes.  This book would make a great gift for a chef or as a housewarming gift.  As far as recipes- this book is for the advanced chef who feels at home cooking lamb and other exotic dishes such as "Coppa di Testa" which is pig's head  and "Loukanika" which is fermented salami. In fact there is an entire section on fermented salami. This book is about making meat dishes, but it was more like learning a foreign language- it is certainly not about a typical barbecue or hotdogs and hamburgers.  The cover of the book with its wood cut styled American clip art graphics might make this appear to be a basic cookbook.  This book combines artistry and upscale ingredients with a variety of meat.  One  image shows a huge pig- serpent - snake like creature as slab of meat secured with twine.  The pig's stately, still face is rustic.  It is eerie, not very tasty- as I certainly would not equate this dish as food.  Nevertheless it is unique and fancy.     Other entrees are more complicated and look more like fancy artwork in their presentation. The book goes over the step by step process of the recipes even the pre planning stages and even some history and anecdotes mixed in. The photos of the food as well as the scenery is picturesque. Even if you have no intention of cooking any entrees from this book, it is certain to be entertaining or maybe revolting.   As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by 10 Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.

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