July2016 Booklist 11 www.booklistonline.com
book delves into the rich history of spices
and how they’ve helped shape the modern
world. O’Connell’s easy charm and flair
for narrative make for an entertaining look
at the seeds, roots, barks, and other plant
components that today we look on as everyday flavorings but at one time started
wars and launched explorers. Lending depth
and credibility, O’Connell cites dozens of
historians, botanists, and other scholars
on the subject. Each entry also includes a
botanical profile of the spice and notes on
flavor. However, the author is at his witty
best when sharing an anecdote or tracing
the spice’s use through history—
touching on art, religion, and medicine along
the way. The Book of Spice covers 60 different spices and closes with a chapter on
common spice blends, such as Ethiopian
berbere and Japanese gomashio. For curious
cooks, it’s a good resource and a fine read.
—Alison Neumer Lara
Caramel, Caramel & More Caramel!
Sweet and Savory Recipes for Creative
By Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan.
Sept. 2016. 128p. illus. Imagine!, $18.95
(9781623540753); e-book (9781607349532). 641.6.
One of the great miracles witnessed in the
kitchen is the transformation of simple sugar
into the astonishingly rich flavors of caramel.
Confectioners know how to turn caramel
into thick, gooey rivers of deep goodness.
Most cultures have some version of custard
with either a pooling sauce of runny caramel under the quivering cream or with a
crackling top of hard caramel. And caramel
cake appeals to just about everyone. Those
who think of caramel solely for its sweetness
may find themselves pleasantly surprised at
the number of savory dishes in which caramel appears. Light caramel sauce spiked
with fragrant brandy enhances beef’s native
sweetness. And onions, long stewed, form
their own sort of caramel to top rich chicken
livers. Nevertheless, caramel’s flavor succeeds
primarily in desserts, and only the resolutely disciplined could resist the authors’
chocolate caramel peanut butter delight atop
bananas. —Mark Knoblauch
The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook:
165 Recipes for Eating, Drinking &
By Daina Falk.
Aug. 2016. 256p. Oxmoor, paper, $22.95
Falk is no ordinary sports fan. She grew up
at the knees of famous professional athletes
managed by her father, a successful sports
agent, and can recall many a time of find-
ing star players around the family dinner
table. Today she continues in the world of
sports as the Hungry Fan, a media brand
focused on the sports fan experience and
game day food. This book, her first, pulls
together hearty recipes for nachos, dips,
sandwiches, pastas, barbecue, and more. It’s
familiar sports-watching food, with plenty
of fried dishes and bacon to spare but some-
times with a fresh spin or a lighter take,
such as chipotle chicken, sweet potato skins,
and Asian-inspired pork burgers. Profes-
sional athletes, current and hall-of-famers,
contribute a handful of recipes, each in-
troduced with a personal anecdote from
Falk, who writes throughout with bubbly
enthusiasm for all things sports-and-food.
—Alison Neumer Lara
LEON Happy Salads.
By Jane Baxter and John Vincent.
Aug. 2016. 224p. illus. Conran Octopus, $19.99
Fast food doesn’t have to mean unhealthy
or bland. Londoners Baxter and Vincent
founded the LEON chain of eateries catering to the toiling office worker craving
something better for lunch than a mere
burger. Here they document their approach
to refreshing and tasty salads that can be
replicated in the home kitchen. Some of
their salads reproduce classics, such as
Niçoise and Cobb. Middle Eastern traditions abound, with tabbouleh and freekeh.
Indian, Italian, Philippine, and more cuisines contribute to the broad palette of
textures and flavors available. Quantities,
whether rendered in grams or ounces, are by
weight, which may put off American home
cooks wedded to volume measurement.
American readers may be also somewhat
mystified by some terms; for instance, rocket,
which is just another name for arugula. Access to a multicultural grocery will ease the
cook’s burden. Color photographs illustrate
what to expect from these fresh recipes.
Naturally Sweet: Bake All Your
Favorites with 30% to 50% Less Sugar.
Aug. 2016. 320p. illus. America’s Test Kitchen, paper,
$26.95 (9781940352589). 641.8.
The editors at America’s Test Kitchen,
known for their meticulous recipe testing and development, are back at it again.
This time, they’ve trained their laser-eyed
focus on reduced-sugar baking. Bakers
know cutting back the sugar in a recipe is
a complicated endeavor—one that affects
the taste, texture, and appearance of the finished product. Be prepared to experiment
with sugar substitutes like Sucanat (found
here in peanut-butter cookies, crumb cake,
red velvet cupcakes, and more), fruit juices
(fig bars), and coconut sugar (coconut washboards). The authors also make liberal use
of maple syrup and honey as replacements
for refined sugars in recipes ranging from
muffins to cookies to cakes to pies and puddings. Plus, they’ve included background
information on these sweeteners as well as a
recipe index organized by sweetening agent.
Cooks with a powerful sweet tooth should
scoop up this well-researched recipe book
for healthier takes on classic sweet treats.
Eye of the Sixties: Richard
Bellamy and the Transformation
of Modern Art.
By Judith E. Stein.
July 2016. 384p. illus. Farrar, $27 (9780374151324);
e-book, $14.99 (9870374715205). 709.2.
Richard Bellamy, director of the cutting-edge Green Gallery in New York in the early
1960s, has largely been overshadowed by the
avant-garde artists he launched, including
Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg, James
Rosenquist, and Donald Judd. Yet as curator
and critic Stein discovered
during the 20 years she
spent researching Bellamy’s
life, he is utterly fascinating
in his own right. Born in
Ohio in 1927, Bellamy was
a target for prejudice as the
son of a Chinese mother
and a white American father, both doctors.
Seductive, bohemian to the core, complex,
and conflicted, Bellamy loved poetry, music,
women, sculpture, and pranks. He had a “
karmic propensity to be in the right place at the
right time” as well as what he described as an
“intensity of perception.” He was also an alcoholic who kept his true self carefully masked
and an art dealer whose unerring genius for
recognizing significant new artists was undermined by his aversion to commerce. Stein not
only brings the elusive Bellamy into the light,
she also surrounds him with an intriguing
cast of artists and writers and fellow art dealers, most notably Ivan Karp and art collectors
Robert and Ethel Scull. Stein’s compellingly
intimate portrait of a creative, passionate,
and essential advocate for pop art, minimal-ism, and conceptual art doubles as a fresh and
dynamic chronicle of a historic artistic revolution. —Donna Seaman
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next
25 Years; The Complete,
Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral
History of Star Trek.
By Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross.
Aug. 2016. 864p. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $29.99
(9781250089465); e-book (9781250089472). 791.45.
The second volume of Altman and Gross’
comprehensive oral his-
tory of Star Trek is even
more massive than the first,
which covers the first 25
years, because it has more
ground to cover as it tackles
the four spin-off shows (a
fifth is on the way in 2017)
as well The Next Generation
and J. J. Abrams’ feature films. After several
attempts to bring Star Trek back to the small
screen, Star Trek: The Next Generation set sail
with a new captain and a new Enterprise in
1987. Though the show grew to be both a
ratings and a critical hit, the behind-the-
scenes drama made for a rocky experience.