I was recently sent a copy of a new book release from publishers France Lincoln; World Food Café Vegetarian Bible: Over 200 Recipes From Around The World which is written by Chris & Carolyn Caldicott. Chris & Carolyn who are both intrpeid travellers owned the World Food Café in London's Covent Garden where for many years they cooked and served up delicious vegetarian food from recipes they had collected on their travels around the world.
I'm not a vegetarian, in fact I am a rather big meat-eater but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good vegetarian cookbook. I rather enjoy eating vegetable-based meals so I was happy to get stuck into reading this book.
The book is a compilation of over 200 dishes, including 130 which are suitable for vegans and is split into individual destinations as follows;
- North Africa & Arabia
- West & East Africa
- The Indian Ocean
- Pakistan & Nepal
- Southeast Asia
- French Polynesia
- Central & Southern America
It's a good weighty book and has some nice readable introductions to all the countries covered in the book. The recipes are a mixture of some better known traditional recipes as well as some really unique ideas. The majority of the recipes are short and easy-to-follow and I didn't see too many strange or hard-to-find ingredients listed which is always a concern with world foods. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely items I think I'd be hard pushed to find in my local Waitrose like jaggery, mooli radishes, amchoor, galangal and tempeh but where possible, suitable alternatives have been suggested.
One thing I wasn't so keen on was the lack of images. I'm a bit pernickity about this but in a cookbook I like to see a nice clear, colour, photographic image of the end product. This book doesn't deliver this, in fact compared to the amount of recipes there aren't many food photos at all. The majority of the photography is more travel-orientated which is lovely but I really want to see the food. I get more confidence from recipes with an image!
I think this book could be thoroughly enjoyed by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians and there is certainly a lot to explore. I can't wait to start trying a few recipes out.
World Food Café Vegetarian Bible is published in January 2014 with an RRP of £20.00