Book Reviews

Book review: A Taste of the World.

The world is rich with diverse regional and ethnic cuisines. Cooks everywhere use the same basic ingredients, but in very different ways. Take the egg, for example in North America egg is a breakfast ingredient (fried, scrambled, hardboiled, three-minute boiled, poached) but in France, people rarely, if ever think of eggs as breakfast food. There, the cradle of gastronomy, a poached egg on asparagus spears, or in red wine with chopped bacon (eggs en meurette) ay be served as an appetizer for dinner.

Similarly, Spanish may make a lunch of tapas, or stroll from one bar to another at 6 p m eating these delectable “mouth entertainers” (called tapas) and enjoy a few glasses of sherry wine.

Exploring similarities as well as differences, The Tate of the World offers a tantalizing glimpse of the way the world eats.

The photography of this beautifully arranged book is masterful and enlightening. Actually, it may be a tool to educate your friends, or off springs in world cuisines. Just turning the pages will give you ideas about different cuisines, cooking methods, food presentation, and flavour combinations. Recipes provided work well, and require little mastery of complicated and time-consuming techniques.

Bread and pastry, grains, pasta and noodles, legumes, vegetables, seafood, poultry, meat dairy and eggs, fruit, nuts and chocolate and glossary are set out in chapters in which recipes based on the heading can be found.

In each chapter the history of the ingredient is explored to familiarize the reader how it evolved throughout ages.

The chapter on pasta and noodles contains a few pages on dried pasta, There are several pages of charcuterie from different countries and regions.

If you are an ice cream fan, turn to pages 324/325 to read about Italian gelato, and for those who like fruits, nuts and chocolate recipes like raspberry tart, meringue with blackberries, lemon-lavender cake, pistachio baklava, and pecan cheesecake, the recipes will provide endless eating pleasure

Books to learn, cherish, and read from time to time to replenish gustatory pleasures!