Monday, October 29, 2012

Cookbooks: The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld

Part of living vegan is giving stuff up. At least, that was true until fairly recently, when a larger number of people than ever before became interested in a plant-based diet. In the past few years, we’ve been deluged with vegan cookbooks. Obviously, some of these are better than others.

Mark Reinfeld’s books are generally among the good ones. What sets  Reinfeld’s books apart is his welcome old-school approach to an entirely new school subject.

Award-winning chef Reinfeld has written or co-written half a dozen vegan-focused books. Most of them have been deeply concerned with the nuts and bolts of his topic and have been delivered in a very traditional way. This is also true of his latest book, The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe (Da Capo Lifelong), which, as the title suggests, revisits classic favorites and remakes them for a meat-free version of the 21st century. And thus we have Faux Gras, an entirely vegan version of foie gras made with walnuts and mushrooms; a completely vegan Horchata and even Baked Vegan Schnitzel, a healthful animal-free version of an Austrian speciality. And while it’s obvious that tofu baked in tahini and cornflake coating is never going to taste like veal -- nor should it! -- the satisfaction here comes from trying something entirely different and yet completely healthful, while offering something really new and out of the ordinary to your friends and family.

If opting for a vegan lifestyle has left you missing some of the flavors from your youth, The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe will probably not be able to assuage them 100 per cent. But in a sea of vegan Spanish Omelettes, Vegan Bouillabaisse, French Onion Soup and Scottish Crumpets, you’ll be having too much fun enjoying all the new flavors to really miss too many of the old ones. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home