Picks and Pans Review: Street Food

updated 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Rose Grant

Everyone has a favorite street food, whether it's a genuine Philadelphia cheese steak, a tart Italian ice spilling over the edges of a paper cup or a jumbo frank slathered in mustard. Rarely has the diversity of such colorful comestibles been as appreciated as in this lively collection of recipes. According to Grant, street food not only "taps into our nostalgia for the past, for holidays and fairs," it is also the most visible evidence of the American melting pot, or wok or grill. Fine, but don't expect complete meal ideas. There are more than 100 offerings, as varied as an ethnic-food festival, grouped by how a food is eaten. For example, succulent Satay Ajam (Indonesian skewered chicken with a peanut butter sauce) is under the heading "Food on a Stick," and the section on "Sandwiches" ranges from Texas chili dogs to Trinidad shrimp curry rôtis. Crêpes de Bretagne, made from buckwheat pancake mix, nutmeg and Grand Marnier, is listed under "Sweets," as are jelly apples. Street Food also introduces Indian snacks like spicy potato samosas (a kind of dumpling), Bolivian empanadas de queso (deep-fried cheese turnovers) and Japanese noodle salad. Of course, none of these treats can replace the bustle of an outdoor event—but anyone who eats enough of this food will quickly grow into a crowd. (Crossing Press, $16.95)

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