Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook

Title:  Brodo:  A Bone Broth Cookbook
Author:  Marco Canora and Tammy Walker
Publication Information:  Pam Krauss Books. 2015. 160 pages.
ISBN:  0553459503 / 978-0553459500

Book Source:  I received this book through the Blogging for Books program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "For the past five years the common thread of my work has been an effort to prove that healthy and delicious can go hand in hand."

Favorite Quote:  "Food:  Buy it with thought. Cook it with care. Serve just enough. Save what will keep. Eat what would spoil. Home-grown is best. Don't waste it."

A rich, hearty broth to support healing after an injury; a light, comforting broth to help me feel better; and a fragrant, meaty broth to cook my rice with are some of the memories of my childhood and a part of my "normal" cooking routine. So, to keep reading about this "new" trend in food is amusing. Broths lovingly prepared have been around for a long time and are found in virtually every culture around the world. As Marco Canora whole-heartedly acknowledges, the supposedly new trend is simply rejuvenating an ages old tradition.

Brodo, which literally means "broth," is both the name of Marco Canora's restaurant in New York City and the name of this book. In his book and restaurant, Chef Canora pays homage to the tradition of broth making and, of course, introduces his own unique spin on it. Note the distinction between broth and soup. Broth uses bones, water, and perhaps flavorings to create a stand alone beverage. Fewer ingredients and more a beverage to be served in a mug rather than with a bowl and spoon.

This book surprises me, both when it arrives and as I go through it. When I first open the box, the book is considerably smaller than I expect. It is a 6 inch by 8 inch hardcover and 160 pages. Given that I use broths frequently in my home, I know some tools, techniques, and recipes, but I hope to learn something new. Given the size and simplicity of the book, I am not sure. However, as I go through it, I am pleasantly surprised. This book packs a lot of information into a small package:
  • History and cultural diversity of broth making.
  • Scientific background on the nutrition and health benefits of broths although the scientific references are not provided for follow-up reading.
  • Overall tips and techniques for broth making.
  • A three-day "broth reset" in the same vein as popular detox trends.
  • Recipes for fifteen different broths including those served at the restaurant.
  • Recipes for the ten broth add-ins served at the restaurant (The book uses the analogy of customizing a drink at a coffee bar.).
  • Eight recipes that start with a broth as a based to create a bowl of soup.
  • Six recipes for risottos that use a broth as a base.
I am not a fan of scientific statements without the research references to back it up; however, based on my family's way of cooking, I do believe in the power of a mug of broth! I am also not a fan of the detox trend, but I do appreciate the benefit of broth as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Note that although the title references "bone broth," the book does include three broths that are not meat based.

The section I find the most beneficial is the "Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Making Broth at Home." The exact broth recipes are fairly similar in ingredients and in process except for the choice of the base you start with. As such, it is truly the technique that matters. Master the technique, and you are free to create your own recipes.

What rings clearly throughout the book is Chef's Canora's passion for his food and his food lifestyle choices. In these cold months of winter, I am looking forward to start a new pot of broth simmering and incorporate Chef Canora's techniques to improve the end result.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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