New on the cookbook shelf

Traditions of oyster cultivation and consumption in America, lore and history, and recipes are combined in a small but excellent cookbook, Oysters, the Connoisseur's Guide & Cookbook, by Lonnie Williams and Karen Warner (101 Productions, $10.95). There are beautiful color photos of finished dishes and black and whites of skipjack oyster boats, of tonging for oysters in Florida, of oysters under ice off Carolina shores, and other regional information.

The Elegant Onion, The Art of Allium Cookery, by Betty Cavage (Storey Communications Inc., Pownal, Vt., $6.95), includes more than 100 recipes from the author's childhood in England and years of living in Bermuda, as well as from her own onion patch in the United States.

Onions of various colors, plus leeks, shallots, scallions, and all other kinds of alliums, are discussed briefly with background information, but most of all this book has good, easy recipes, from Cheese and Chive Party Puffs to Onion Bread Pudding.

Phyllis Hanes is the Monitor's food editor.

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