I've had this book for more than 10 years and still return to it periodically when looking for something unusual, yet easy to prepare.
The book is organized into 18 ethnic regions, less a comprehensive collection of world recipes, more like an eclectic, culinary passport to some areas perhaps less familiar to American cooks: Africa South of the Sahara, Caribbean, Finland, Armenia and Eastern Europe. Each chapter features an essay on the region by the contributing writer, followed by a sampling of the region's cuisine, from appetizers and salads to desserts and after-dinner drinks.
The recipes are as varied as the cuisines, though all are fairly straightforward, emphasizing fresh, easily accessible ingredients. Some recipes can be prepared in under 30 minutes, while others can be an hours-long labor of love (assuming one finds meal preparation theraputic, as I do.) I've found the chapter on North Africa to be a favorite; I can't count how many times I've prepared Fatima's Salad, an intoxicating blend of potatoes, carrots, beets, peppers, vinegar and olive oil, each time with raves from my guests. And Mahshi Filfil, a dish of rice-stuffed bell peppers with a creamy feta cheese sauce, has convinced my finicky Armenian family that there's more than one way to stuff a vegetable.
As to the recipes' authenticity, most are modified creations of ethnic dishes, in many cases substituting vegetables or soy products for meat or for hard-to-find ingredients. It is not a book for the cook interested in authentic ethnic cooking; a more accurate description is a collection of Americanized recipes that pay their respects to world cuisines.
An eclectic book, it has a little something for everyone; it specializes in nothing, celebrates everything and encourages the cook to gently step beyond the boundaries of one's own culinary traditions, into exotic cuisines from around the globe.