A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
What kind of cookbook is Tapas by Jose Andres?
Legends have the tapas dining experience originating in Spanish taverns. Those drinking wine wanted a little food, too. “Tapa” is said to mean “lid” or something to cover the top of the wine glass. This is all disputed. What is agreed upon is that the small dish movement has come to America. In Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, Jose Andres suggests dishes that Americas might like with their wine.
Is this cookbook easy to use?
Yes, Andres has arranged tapas recipes into sixteen chapters featuring specific ingredients, such as olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, rice, and fish. A wine for each dish is suggested at the beginning of the chapter. Andres offers tips for the cooking and presenting each dish with the recipes. He also includes a detailed index for dishes at the back of the book.
Can you easily buy the ingredients for the recipes?
Most of the vegetables should easy to find. There are some Spanish cheeses, meats, fish, and olive oils that might require a hunt, but the author includes a directory of grocers in the appendix. Perhaps the hunt will add to the adventure.
What is special about this cookbook?
The idea of small dishes prepared in small quantities and presented attractively is stylish at the moment. Andres says that it can also be economical. (I’m not so sure about that.) The photos showing careful arrangement of ingredients are eye-catching.
What are the recipes I’d like to try?
Potatoes Rioja-style with Chorizo (page 52)
Traditional Asturian Bean Stew (page 80)
Spinach Catalan-style (page 108)
Roaster Vidalia Onions with Cabrales Cheese (page 144)
Review by Rick