Martha Rose Shulman, Author . Firefly $35 (288p) ISBN 978-1-55297-571-8

Putting together all she has learned from writing 17 cookbooks (including Mediterranean Light, Provencal Light and Mexican Light), Shulman provides a whirlwind tour of the globe's culinary traditions. Illustrated throughout with 300 full-color, National Geographic–style photos, this overview of food around the world is divided into "Europe," "Africa and the Middle East," "Asia and Australia" and "the Americas," and is subdivided by country and region. In each section Shulman discusses the staple foods, culinary history, specialties and mealtime customs of each area. Sidebars spotlight signature dishes and special ingredients, beverages and such concoctions as Hungarian stews, Indonesian rempah paste, Vietnamese pho and Paraguay's yerba mate herbal tea. Typical menus are also included. Shulman describes the various ways that commerce, imperial expansion and immigration have influenced each region's cuisine. The book concludes with a sampling of 80-plus recipes from every continent, including the Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, the savory Provençal Tapenade, the flavorful Lamb and Prune Tagine from Morocco and the rich, sweet Linzertorte from Austria. The volume covers a surprising amount of ground in reasonable depth (though the Africa and South America sections are arguably skimpy), and the recipes live up to Shulman's usual high quality. This single volume will provide any cook with an international repertoire—not to mention plenty of theme party ideas. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/05/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-55407-425-9
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