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Although we’re familiar with crusades to save disappearing languages and even disappearing species of animals, one new book calls attention to "preserving America’s food heritage." Quail Ridge Press’s new volume, "Best of the Best from New York Cookbook" has combed 67 of this state’s cookbooks and come up with 400 recipes that will make you proud - all over again - to be a New Yorker.

"New York City has so many ethnic heritages - you name it - and the food reflects it," write editors Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley. "The ocean and lakes, bays and sounds yield harvests of crabs, oysters, clams, tuna, bluefish, striped bass and all sorts of other sea creatures that end up as delectable dinners. Moreover, a sweet touch to a recipe may very well come from the abundant maple syrup and honey produced in New York."

Many of the cookbooks from which these recipes are derived are published by religious congregations, like "Culinary Creations" from Brooklyn’s Bnos Zion Bobov at 1465 46th St., and it’s easy to see how those self-published books and their recipes could disappear - and certainly would not have a large audience - without Quail Ridge Press’s compilation. The editors have also chosen recipes from prominent chefs, TV hosts and bed and breakfast innkeepers.

Many of these recipes are particularly perfect for fall and the holidays: "Pepper steak" and "Three-layered cheesecake" recipes from "Culinary Creations"; "Carrot and parsnip quiche" from "Foods of the Hudson"; "Nellie O’Leary’s Irish sodabread" and "Austrian Nuss-Kipferl (nut crescent cookies)" from "The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook"; "Holiday beef stew" and "Salmon with champagne sauce" from "Uncork New York! Wine Country Cookbook"; "Kwanzaa fried chicken" from the "Long Island holiday cookbook"; and "Pilgrim roasted turkey" from "Wild Game Cookbook & Other Recipes."

The cookbook also has photos of regional landmarks, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, and historic facts and trivia about the state.

Particularly important to cookbook collectors is the list of the contributing cookbooks and instructions on how to order those books. "Culinary Creations" can be ordered by fax at (718) 633-6959 for $17.95 plus $3 postage. "Best of the Best from New York Cookbook," ed. Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley (Quail Ridge Press, $16.95) can be ordered by phone at (800) 343-1583.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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