cover image Soul & Spice

Soul & Spice

Chronicle Books, Heidi Haughy Cusick, Heidi Haughy Dickerson. Chronicle Books, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0419-6

In the tradition of Jessica Harris's 1989 Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons, Cusick delves into the legacy of African immigrant cooking styles, tracing, for instance, the transformation of fiery rice-based melanges into Creole jambalayas and South Carolina pilaus, or sawyer from Cameroon and michui from Togo into our familiar barbecue. While providing soul-satisfying and user-friendly recipes (Pickled Fish, Meat and Black Bean Stew, Sweet Milk Pudding), Cusick also establishes clear-cut cultural links between Old World and New. Recipes are organized by style of food (Soul Food, Barbecue, Louisiana Creole); place of origin (Bahia, Brazil, the Caribbean); and the people who brought them to America (Recent African Immigrants). They are also accompanied by sidebars and notes of historical and personal importance. A glossary and a listing of specialty and mail order markets round out this welcome and authentic tribute to the diverse heritage of African cooking. (May)