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Outline ReviewMr. Mercator, maker of wall maps, would have us believe that the continent of Africa is this piddly little thing, mostly below the equator, weighed down by the size and majesty of Europe. Jessica B. Harris, author of The Africa Cookbook, shows us how big this continent truly is (three times the landmass of Europe; 1,000 different languages); how incredibly ancient its history is; how grand and majestic is the sweep of cooking styles and food flavors that shift from north to south, east to west; and how up-to-the-minute and relevant those food and flavor experiences can be. As with any of Harris's previous books, the reader can savor equal portions of eye-opening scholarship, delectable storytelling, and delicious recipes.
The book is divided into chapters that discuss the edible history of Africa, the range of food regions in Africa, a glossary of African ingredients and utensils, and an argument that the much vaunted Mediterranean diet needs to look south for its origins. Recipe chapters fall along traditional lines: appetizers, salads and soups, condiments, vegetables, main dishes, breads and starches, desserts, and beverages--and include dishes from all over the continent. You will find the likes of Sardine Fritters (Algeria), Avocado and Papaya Salad (Kenya), Pili Pili Sauce (western Africa), Mashed Eggplant la Zeinab (Sudan), and Grilled Shrimp Pili Pili (Mozambique).
Africa, Harris argues, isn't the Dark Continent, but the "continent about which we are in the dark." Use The Africa Cookbook to taste your way into the light. --Schuyler Ingle
In The Africa Cookbook, culinary historian and cookbook author Jessica B. Harris takes you on a tour of the Motherland, exploring the extraordinary diversity of the cuisines of the continent.
The Africa Cookbook features more than 200 traditional and contemporary recipes collected from home kitchens across Africa, including the familiar couscous of Morocco, the savory stews of the eastern grasslands, and the curries and chutneys of the Swahili coasts. From the sophisticated cuisine of Senegal to the creolized food of Mauritius and the Seychelles to the Afrikaner barbecues of South Africa, Harris presents the food of the continent and paints unforgettable portraits of the people who shared their culinary heritage with her. Illustrated with archival postcards from the author's collection, The Africa Cookbook celebrates countries whose contributions to the way we eat today have been too long ignored. Now home cooks can sample Potatoes with Mint Leaves and Garlic from Algeria or Senegal's classic Theibou Dienn. Spicy fried oysters with peanut sauce from Togo wakes up the palate, while Mango Cream from Cameroon cools the fire. Carrot Sambal from South Africa makes a piquant side dish, while Kedjenou (chicken stewed with tomato, onions, chile, garlic, and ginger) from C&3244;te d'Ivoire makes an intriguing main course.
A special section of menus using recipes from the book complete with suggestions for appropriate decor and music, makes it easy to plan a variety of African feasts. Harris also includes a glossary of ingredients and utensils, a selection of mail-order sources, and a list of more good reading on African foods.
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