Cook. Taste. Summer. Smile (Digital Book Review)

Everything is going digital now. In fact everything is getting “APPlified” into small icons that pop up on our smartphones and tablets that can be tapped to open a wide world of possibilities. 
Keeping up with the changing world and preferences Cook.Taste.Summer.Smile presents itself as a unique cookbook that can be downloaded onto your device of choosing and taken, weight free, around the world for making some tasty delicacies no matter the place you are in.
One of my fondest experiences while traveling is experimenting with the local food. But, a number of times I visit my friends and then evenings are spent in good company cooking, sipping wine, and reminiscing about the days gone by. My love for books is such that I cannot decide whether the switch to digital books is good or not. While I love the feel of holding a book, flipping the pages, and collecting bookmarks, I also appreciate the ease of having to carry numerous books in my iPad, available at the touch of a button. The fact remains that while traveling the chances of carrying a cookbook is highly unlikely. Moreover, having an interactive book like Cook.Taste.Summer.Smile at home makes cooking easier by making all links touch-screen rather than reading small prints or flipping pages.
Having been sent an iPad version for review, it obviously seamlessly downloaded into my devise as most Apple based books/applications do. Part of a soon to be released series of cookbooks based on the different seasons “Summer” is a game-changer in some respects. The book was bug free and I found that as extremely essential not only for a cookbook but for any application being released. It is also easy to navigate and a few minutes of playing around, pinching, expanding, flipping was enough to get a feel of the book. I also tried flipping pages with just my little finger testing if it would work in case while cooking my hands were unusable, and once again the book worked perfectly.
As a book, the writings are large enough to be viewed without straining the eyes and from a distance. The language is easy to understand and Alex Yandell has a certain way of putting things, especially in first person, that makes the whole experience personal yet casual, almost like he is speaking to you directly, something which I liked.
As a cookbook, it manages to entice the reader by placing beautifully shot food preparations on its pages/screens. Using ingredients that are not hard to find in most parts of the world the book doesn’t deviate from the point of focus which in this case is Summer. Starting with a list of the Key Ingredients it divides the book into Summer Menus, Delicious Dips, Simply Salads, Main Course, Side Dishes, Fruity Desserts, Afternoon Indulgences, and lastly Picnic Perfection. Each chapter comprising of 3 preparations is rich to look at and easy to follow. The addition of summer chapters like Picnic Perfection and Afternoon Indulgences is a nice little surprise, one that makes you want to specially organize a picnic so that you can experiment making the “Balsamic Red Onion Quiche” or “Mini Puff Pastry Tarts” or even “Chocolate and Pecan Cookies”. Furthermore, in some cases the dishes come with wine recommendations and ways to make them healthier or even cheaper, showcasing the thought that has gone in to make the book accessible to everyone.        
Having the book on my iPad which is a constant companion on all my travels is something I know I will utilize eventually, especially since I cannot wait to try out some of the wonderful preparations. In the meantime, at home, since I do have a nifty little stand for the iPad, it makes viewing and following the recipes an easy task. I do have to point out that the beauty of the book is more impacting on one of the larger devises, although having it on an iPhone is recommended if you do not own a tablet. An option of printing the recipes from the book might have been a nice little addition to the entire package and although I do understand that this might lead to unwanted sharing of information, but the same can always be done by taking screen shots as well. Lastly at a price of £4.99 ($ 6.99) it does seem a tad pricy considering that it is a cookbook that focuses on one season. Now, looking at the entire book obviously a lot of hard work has gone into all the aspects, be it the recipes, the photographs, the ease of use, and overall appeal, but had I not been sent the review copy, I would have thought twice before purchasing the book, especially since unlike a physical book it is hard for everyone to view the book in its entirety before purchase. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the book does prove to be value for money.
Cook. Taste. Summer. Smile is a wonderful little addition in the digital world of cookbooks. Its ease of use and touch screen capabilities along with mouth watering recipes that appeal to people who like to indulge and to those who are particular about what they eat makes it a must have addition in your library. 

2 replies »

  1. great review, raghav. it does look like books are going digital faster than we realize, and bringing with them a new level of interactivity. pricing models are also rapidly changing in the ebook world, with fewer quality books showing up in the under 3 dollar level. you have to keep in mind that buyers are only a fraction of actual readers, through sharing and piracy, so price models have to factor that in as well. enjoyed reading your review, will be looking out for it.


  2. HI Subhorup, I have to agree with you on the matter of only a fraction of people reading digital books and the ease of sharing and piracy, but the main debate between Digital and Paper books also holds true wherein digital books takes away paper costs and publisher costs as well at times. Nevertheless, in the case of this book, I think keeping in mind that it is more than just a “book” where you flip pages, and is more touchscreen interactive, it can justify the cost. Thanks for your comment 🙂


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