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The African Cookbook. Hardcover – June 1, 1970


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ty Crowell Co (June 1970)
  • ISBN-10: 0690003269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0690003260
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,934,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The African Cookbook" was initially published in 1970 and represented one of the first widely available cookbooks to explore the cuisine of Africa. Author Bea Sandler (who is now deceased) traveled extensively in Africa, and this cookbook was her attempt to introduce regional African food to America. Chapters cover different countries, including Ethiopia, Morocco, and Senegal. Some of the recipes are likely to be familiar to many cooks who have never before read an African cookbook (e.g., chapattis, couscous), but some are refreshingly unfamiliar. Each chapter describes how to put together an entire meal typical of that country, which is likely to appeal to many readers. Additionally, Sandler includes some nice anecdotes, such as the use of pieces of bread as a "tablecloth" of sorts that was common in Ethiopia. Thus, the reader gets some idea about the country's culture (or at least the culture circa 1970).

Although the all-meal approach is interesting and likely to appeal to many readers, it does have a drawback. Specifically, the author seems to expect that readers will make all the recipes in a particular chapter. The result is that many of the dishes made alone do not have much flair of Africa. For example, I made the braised cabbage, which consisted of cabbage and onion simmered in beef broth with some crushed red peppers. The dish was fine, but it didn't exactly sweep me away to Africa or make me feel like I was making anything unusual. I'm sure that the dish makes more sense in the context of the full meal.

The recipes are also presented in a confusing format - specifically, each ingredient is listed when it is to be added to the recipe.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By erik swanson on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book from a used book store to bolster my library of african cookbooks (of which, until recently, there are precious few). In general, I found the book a disappointment. The author uses too many packaged foods and cuts spice levels to the point that the dishes are bland facsimiles of themselves, almost unrecognizable. There are other dishes which hardly qualify as african: roast beef, for example.
When it was first published, the author's changes were no doubt welcomed by timid american cooks. now that our palates have become more sophisticated, we must demand more authenticity from "ethnic" cookbooks. Other african cookbooks deliver. This does not.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mariangela Buch on November 28, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simple recipes that include chicken stews, fried cheese, coffee desserts, and entire buffet menus. As a teacher of African American Studies, I use this book to teach to my students. It's very helpful, resourceful, easy, and fun.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clifford Nelson on June 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had an african friend look at this cookbook, and was told that the recipes do not represent true african cooking. He suspects that the author at with the upper crust of African society, and the cookbook is so colored. In an example of the inaccuracies of the cookbook, Dagga is represented as consisting of dried fish from Scandinavia. The ordinary people do not have money to buy these products: it is actually small dried prawns.
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