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The African Cookbook: Menus and Recipes from Eleven African Countries and the Island of Zanzibar Paperback – 1 Feb 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp. (1 Feb. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806513985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806513980
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 1.7 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Presents menus and recipes from eleven African countries, with serving hints and complete shopping lists, and includes additional recipes for appetizers, soups, fish, poultry, beef, side dishes, salads, breads, and desserts.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brigitte Taschl on 20 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A nice book, lovingly compiles but I missed photographs of the meals - that's what I like/expect in a cook book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
this was the first book on african cooking that I owned (20 yrs ago as a college student),and believeit or not it still gets use in my house. The recipes are all adapted to the american palate-meaning the heat is toned down.Great recipes and info on how to serve the food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiona on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so disppointed with this because there are no colour pictures whatsoever, and although the menu's are good, its so bland and boring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Outdated but Interesting 18 Nov. 2004
By Westley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The African Cookbook" was initially published in 1970 and represented one of the first widely available cookbooks to explore the cuisine of Africa. Author Bea Sandler (who is now deceased) traveled extensively in Africa, and this cookbook was her attempt to introduce regional African food to America. Chapters cover different countries, including Ethiopia, Morocco, and Senegal. Some of the recipes are likely to be familiar to many cooks who have never before read an African cookbook (e.g., chapattis, couscous), but some are refreshingly unfamiliar. Each chapter describes how to put together an entire meal typical of that country, which is likely to appeal to many readers. Additionally, Sandler includes some nice anecdotes, such as the use of pieces of bread as a "tablecloth" of sorts that was common in Ethiopia. Thus, the reader gets some idea about the country's culture (or at least the culture circa 1970).

Although the all-meal approach is interesting and likely to appeal to many readers, it does have a drawback. Specifically, the author seems to expect that readers will make all the recipes in a particular chapter. The result is that many of the dishes made alone do not have much flair of Africa. For example, I made the braised cabbage, which consisted of cabbage and onion simmered in beef broth with some crushed red peppers. The dish was fine, but it didn't exactly sweep me away to Africa or make me feel like I was making anything unusual. I'm sure that the dish makes more sense in the context of the full meal.

The recipes are also presented in a confusing format - specifically, each ingredient is listed when it is to be added to the recipe. Thus, the ingredients are scattered throughout the recipe directions, making it somewhat difficult to gather together everything you need. The author tries to solve this problem by including a "shopping list" for each chapter, but these lists essentially include what you'd need to make every single recipe in the chapter. In addition, as happens with some foreign cuisine cookbooks, some of the ingredients are not explained in enough detail, such as "salad herbs."

In sum, this cookbook is of importance due to its historical place in helping to bring African cuisine to American readers, and some of the stories are interesting. However, some of the formatting issues and the outdated feel of the cookbook made it less than ideal for me. Recommended with reservations.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
ok for the timid, but... 2 July 2004
By erik swanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book from a used book store to bolster my library of african cookbooks (of which, until recently, there are precious few). In general, I found the book a disappointment. The author uses too many packaged foods and cuts spice levels to the point that the dishes are bland facsimiles of themselves, almost unrecognizable. There are other dishes which hardly qualify as african: roast beef, for example.
When it was first published, the author's changes were no doubt welcomed by timid american cooks. now that our palates have become more sophisticated, we must demand more authenticity from "ethnic" cookbooks. Other african cookbooks deliver. This does not.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely brilliiant! 28 Nov. 2002
By Mariangela Buch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simple recipes that include chicken stews, fried cheese, coffee desserts, and entire buffet menus. As a teacher of African American Studies, I use this book to teach to my students. It's very helpful, resourceful, easy, and fun.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not at all representative of Aftrican Cooking 6 Jun. 2006
By Clifford Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had an african friend look at this cookbook, and was told that the recipes do not represent true african cooking. He suspects that the author at with the upper crust of African society, and the cookbook is so colored. In an example of the inaccuracies of the cookbook, Dagga is represented as consisting of dried fish from Scandinavia. The ordinary people do not have money to buy these products: it is actually small dried prawns.
The Afeican cookbook 11 Mar. 2013
By Wendy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a girfriend whom is an engineer in Africa. I also have an old copy and have enjoyed using the book. The recipes are easy to make and tasty!! Thanks Wendy
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