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Falling Cloudberries:
A World of Family Recipes
By Tessa Kiros; photographs by Manos Chatzikonstantis
ISBN: 0740781529
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication date: March 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
List price: $29.99 
Type: Family Recipes; Ethnic: Finnish, Greek, Cypriot, South African, Italian
Sample recipe: Red Pepper Soup with Olives, Lemon Zest, and Yogurt
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: If you've ever thought, "Wow!, I wish I had a Finnish-Greek-Cypriot-South African-Italian cookbook to turn to when I need a recipe (possibly mixed in with recipes from a few other cultures)," the wait is over!

Tessa Kiros – born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father, grew up in South Africa, has worked in restaurants in Mexico, Australia, Greece and Britain, and now lives in Italy – claims these as "a world of family recipes."

As with most heritage recipes, there is no fear of butter, cream, salt, or other ingredients that cause some people to shake in their boots. But it is all used in search of flavor, and flavor is a keynote of this book. The amount of garlic in some of the Greek recipes may be more scary than the cream used elsewhere. The salad that is little more than parsley and whole lemon sections may daunt others. In general, the South African recipes are the tamest of the bunch; the Finnish are exotic primarily in the use of many native ingredients.

With so many beautiful photos, it would be great to have one of the Hasselback Potatoes, because it is not 100% clear how they should be cut, even though we know they are supposed to look like "Persian shutters."

Nonetheless, most recipes look completely manageable – in fact, most look wonderful. It would be a happy person who was fed regularly from these recipes.

Cloudberries, for those who didn't know, grow only in the far north, and look like amber-colored raspberries, to which they are related. They are so sour, they are not eaten on their own, but make an excellent jam. Interestingly, none of the recipes in Falling Cloudberries includes cloudberries.


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