Friday, 26 December 2014

Review: 'Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking' by Eric V Copage

Kwanzaa: An African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking by Eric V. Copage, 1991, William Morrow and Company, $25.00, hardbound, 356 pages. Cover: nice. Category/Genre: cookbook. Where we got it: borrowed it. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble. 

This book is a cookery book, but it's also an introduction to the cultural holiday of Kwanzaa. If you're interested in celebrating, you may like to know that Kwanzaa doesn't take the place of Christmas; it falls from December 26 – New Year's Day, so you can celebrate both if you want.

In case you don't know anything about this holiday, this book offers a bit of history along with a guide to help you celebrate Kwanzaa the way its creator first conceived it. How you celebrate is strictly up to you, however, and there are some other ideas included on how to personalise your Kwanzaa celebration.

If you're already familiar with Kwanzaa, you still might find this book useful, as there are over 125 recipes from people of African descent from all across the globe in it. Even if you've been celebrating for years, you're likely to discover some new recipes here.

Next each recipe is the recipe's country of origin and a bit about the person who contributed the recipe. You'll find appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, side dishes, vegetables, breads, beverages, and desserts. Plus there's an index of mail-order sources and a list of suggested menus.

Countries included are: Kenya, South Africa, Antigua, Barbuda, and the United States (with heavy emphasis on the US).

Recipes include: 'Spicy Matoke: Beef and Plantain “Cake”' from Kenya; 'Antigua Fruit Salad with Lime-Nutmeg Dressing' from Antigua and Barbuda; 'Conkies: Individual Cornmeal and Raisin Puddings in Banana Leaves' from Barbados; and 'Mavis's Pineapple-Papaya Punch' from the US.

If you like this one, try: Suggestions? 

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