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The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa Hardcover – September 19, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
In response to an earlier critique, I think that reviewer missed the gist of the book. The idea was to take the cuisine of various African countries and get the basic idea of it but then to expand that idea to something bigger. So the recipes keep a common ingredient but fix it in a unique way or use a technique with a unique combination of ingredients. I love this about the book.Read more ›
The book is impressive both as an exploration of African culture through a Western culinary lens and as a source of widely varied, great, flavorful, and simple recipes. Marcus' perspective is intriguing because he grew up a European but was born an Ethiopian - he clearly feels a deep connection to Africa (especially Ethiopia) and somehow simultaneously commands the perspective of an insider and an outsider. A great read. I very highly recommend it.
The book is divided into the following sections:
- Spice Blends & Rubs: 11 recipes
- Condiments, Sauces & Dips: 13 recipes
- Salads & Sides: 9 recipes
- Breads & Sandwiches: 11 recipes
- Vegetables: 12 recipes
- Fish & Seafood: 10 recipes
- Poultry & Meat: 19 recipes
- Desserts & Drinks: 10 recipes
My favorite sections are the spice blends and condiments chapters. They add variety to simple stuff like grilled chicken breasts.
The U.S. has fully embraced cuisines from many parts of the world. Indian cookery seems to be our latest fascination. I applaud Samuelsson for pushing the envelope futher with the favorites of Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern Africa. As we explore more with our taste buds, these flavors will become just as welcomed to use as hot and sour soup.
I understand that African cuisine is foreign to a lot of palates and this cookbook is arranged with this in mind. I just hoped there would be some kind of index with where the recipes came from. In that way, I could build a meal from one area.
I encourage Marcus Samuelsson's next book to take this in mind. There is a vast difference between Nigerian, Algerian, and Ethiopian food and I would love to be educated in what this difference is. I also am yearning for a real Ethiopian cookbook with modern culinary cooking technique in mind. And so far the Ethiopian cookbooks I have come across have come up very short. I hope Marcus Samuelsson might look into this too.
In short, if you want to get a generalized idea on what African cuisine is like this is a wonderful book. But if you want to get down and really dig into African cooking, I don't think this book is it, nor do I think there is any cookbook that has been published yet that can deeply educate on little explained African cooking traditions and that also dazzles and delights palates as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This cookbook graces my shelf as the sole (up to this point) representative cookbook of African cookery that is not Moroccan or "Middle Eastern" (Tunisian, Egyptian,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Matt W.
This cookbook is both beautiful and full of recipes designed for the American kitchen. There are lots of pictures and short stories from the author's experiences which add beauty... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Picky Mom
Ethiopian cuisine modifies to low sodium without loosing high flavor.Published 2 months ago by Wiegert
It is a good Book showing different ithnic food focusing on African cousins.Well done.
I'm still reading it but I love this book so far! It's so well written, and the stories describe the cuisine of Africa in an interesting way. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is the most beautiful cookbook we own out of 50 hand selected masterpieces.
I would recommend this to absolutely anyone. Read more
I was able to learn how to cook basic Ethiopian dishes, however, ingredients are hard to find and so I had to look for substitutes.Published 7 months ago by susan beck