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Cookbook Watch

May 12, 1999|RUSS PARSONS

It's happened to all of us: Inspired by a particularly good cookbook or restaurant meal, we head for an ethnic market, vowing that we will learn just what it is that makes this food so wonderful. Then when we get there, we can only stand there, transfixed by a bewildering variety of ingredients we've never seen.

If it's Asian cooking you want to explore, you're in luck, though. "The Asian Grocery Store Demystified," by Linda Bladholm (Renaissance Books, $14.95), walks you through the market--both fresh ingredients and prepared--and explains what each item is, and then tells you what to look for or recommends the best brands.

Bladholm, a well-traveled frequent contributor to Singapore and Asia Pacific magazines, covers a broad territory--everywhere from Japan and the Philippines to Southeast Asia. It's all packaged in a convenient paperback that will neatly fit in a hip pocket or purse. Just where you want it the next time good intentions strike.

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