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New Tastes in Green Tea    by Mutsuko Tokunaga order for
New Tastes in Green Tea
by Mutsuko Tokunaga
Order:  USA  Can
Kodansha International, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A wonderful little book, New Tastes in Green Tea, has just arrived in the United States by way of Japan (translated by Jane Pettigrew). Its subtitle, 'A Novel Flavor for Familiar Drinks, Dishes, and Desserts', summarizes just what is packed into its pages. Part 1-A, 'Tea Drinker's Guide' introduces, for both tea enthusiast and beginner, the different types of Green Tea, utensils required, and how to make and drink the perfect cup of green tea. Part 2, 'All About Green Tea', is just that. It covers the cultivation and processing of tea bushes, along with a short and intriguing history of tea.

Next, Part 3, 'Cooking with Green Tea', came as a total surprise to me. I had no idea so much could be made using green tea as an ingredient. Matcha is the powdered tea used in Japan's formal tea ceremony. It is also an ingredient of some really interesting recipes. Spreads such as Matcha Butter and Matcha Cream Cheese look pretty. A Green Tea Omelet and Matcha Rolls seem like good choices. I'm a sucker for noodles and the Matcha Noodle Salad would do me for lunch. There's a quiche, gnocchi, pilaf rolls and desserts. Try the Matcha Ice Cream or Matcha Chiffon Cake. How about Matcha Tiramisu? (Japan meets Italy.) If you're a non-believer, just look at the wonderful color photographs of recipes using green tea. Then close your mouth, open your pantry, and start cooking.

Part 4 on other facts about this healthy beverage, will finish your education and send you out to the store to buy a supply of green tea of your own. Try it. Like it. And make it a staple in your kitchen and your diet.

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