The Complete Caribbean Cookbook

Pamela Lalbachan, Author Tuttle Publishing $34.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8048-3038-6
Most people associate the Caribbean with tropical weather, luscious greenery, sandy beaches, reggae and calypso music. Lalbachan, a native of Guyana, here makes it possible for us to experience the islands without going island-hopping. Cooks will experience Caribbean history through food in her one-volume comprehensive compilation. The author's main objective is twofold: she first presents an historical overview of the two main regions of the Greater and Lesser Antilles; then she shares regional culinary delights. Lalbachan succeeds on both counts. The recipes run the gamut of a meal from appetizers through desserts, with each made from seasonal fruits, staple crops, spices and condiments, depending on the origin of the meal. (For example, curry powder is widely used in Trinidad, Guyana and Barbados, while allspice is heavily consumed in Grenada.) The dishes are simple enough even for beginners, providing the instructions are read and followed carefully. Lalbachan provides a glossary of foods and their substitutes, which can be readily found in most West Indian stores. Taste, authenticity, aroma and quality will not be sacrificed in the process, she promises. So whether you prefer ``Pepperpot Soup,'' dahl, ``Mountain Chicken,'' or ``Jerk Fish,'' Caribbean cuisine holds promise. This is a must in any connoisseur's kitchen library. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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