Down-Island Caribbean Cookery

Virginia Fowler Elbert, Author, George Elbert, With, Virginie Fowler, Author
Virginia Fowler Elbert, Author, George Elbert, With, Virginie Fowler, Author Simon & Schuster $24.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67203-4
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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In recent years a spate of Caribbean cookbooks has hit the shelves, chronicling a cuisine formed by Creole, Spanish, French, African, Dutch, Indonesian and East Indian traditions. The Elberts ( Dolci: The Fabulous Desserts of Italy ) set out to ``record the real quality of Caribbean genius in the kitchen.'' And they've produced a cookbook likely to be savored and dog-eared by devotees who appreciate the nuances--and will go to great lengths to reproduce--earthy exotica. Recipes include duck Creole (hailing from St. Martin), lime marmalade (Martinique) and mango chutney (Trinidad). The authors supply several variations on home-cooked (``down island'') foodstuffs, like the proverbial rice-and-beans, which change form and tang as a dish leaps from island to island. An entire chapter goes to selections for the Dutch-influenced, Indonesian-derived risjtafelsic (``rice table'') popular on islands colonized by the Netherlands. While many recipes contain unusual ingredients (described in great detail in a handy introductory chapter aptly named ``The Caribbean Cupboard'') the Elberts make every attempt to suggest suitable substitutions. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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