by Sybil PrattDecember, 2005
Mark goes global
Mark Bittman is known to many of his avid fans as the Minimalist, but that hasn't stopped him from taking on projects that are anything but minimal, like How to Cook Everything (1999), an instant classic that's supplanted all others as my go-to cooking reference. In his latest, The Best Recipes in the World, Bittman has set himself a hefty goal: to find the most common recipes in the countries that are underrepresented in most cookbooks, to go global, beyond French and Italian. According to Bittman, you'll need an open mind and a broad palate to appreciate this food, but not much more. You will need cuisine-specific ingredients, and Mark's easy pantry-building advice has you there in a flash. You won't need exotic techniques; the basics of cooking are the basics of international cooking. So, if you want to eat with the locals from Asia to Eastern Europe, Mexico to the Middle East, what you really need is this collection of more than 1,000 recipes, unerringly presented with Bittman's signature simplicity. A true home cook's tour de force.