review by Maryom
Chris and Carolyn Caldicott took a break from running their World Food Cafe in Covent Garden and went on a trip in search of new recipes - not just the fortnight or month-long trip of the average holiday-maker, though. They travelled by boat through Burma, Laos and Bangladesh, on foot through Chile and Bhuttan, with reindeer herds in Lapland, on quad bikes and by plane in Namibia, by rickshaw in Vietnam,on the bullet train in Japan, a 1950s Oldsmobile in Cuba and went on a road trip through history in Syria - the sort of trip that most of us could only dream of! And then, there's the foodie ideas they came home with, which after all was the reason for the trip.
It's an eye-catching book with a lime green and shocking pink cover as vibrant as the
food within. The book is divided into sections for each country visited - with lots of photos of the places, people and food. Each country's section starts with a description of the Caldicotts' travels and a general introduction to the cuisine of the region, followed by recipes. Most of these use familiar everyday vegetables in totally unexpected ways - a leek and broad bean dish from Bangladesh, a Bhutan recipe for asparagas or a potato and mushroom bake from Namibia. There are recipes for salads, stews, snacks, breads, desserts and drinks - all vegetarian, though how anyone would miss meat with these dishes I don't know. The emphasis, as you may guess from the title, is on quick and easy cookery rather than fiddly and complicated and, as far as I can tell from merely reading, they live up to that description - most seem to involve popping a few ingredients in a pan, simmering or frying for a while, maybe adding a last-minute extra - and that's it!
I've two minor gripes - I'd have liked to see nutritional info for the
recipes and the index only gives the names of dishes, not the
ingredients, so it isn't easy to find a recipe for, say, chickpeas or
As well as being a delight to browse through, I can imagine that this will become a well-used, well-thumbed cookbook.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Frances Lincoln
Genre - cookery, travel
Buy World Food Cafe: Quick and Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey