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The World's Best Spicy Food: Where to Find it & How to Make it (Lonely Planet Food & Drink) Paperback – 14 Mar 2014
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The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2014
The tone throughout is equal parts exuberant and instructive, and a glossary at the back lays out a lexicon of delicious masochism. Vivid color photography depicts the foods in context a Thai market vendor ladling out bowls of the tangy soup; cumin-spiced lamb kebabs sizzling on a grill in Xinjiang, China and the recipes are, on the whole, very accessible for anyone who can take the heat. As food writer Tom Parker Bowles says in the book s introduction, This is real food, pulsing with vibrancy and delight, bringing a truly happy tear to one s eye. "
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Top customer reviews
For starters, the photography is top-notch and had me salivating at the dozens of delicious spicy dishes from around the world. I've never travelled to a country just to sample its food, but a few of these dishes made that idea tempting.
Each recipe has a detailed description telling you what the food is, where you might find it and what you can expect taste-wise. The writing is superb and helps every dish feel like an adventure that's worth seeking out. This is a surprisingly entertaining book.
And if you fancy saving the air fare and making the dish at home, the book includes full recipes and detailed methods which are well written and easy to follow.
The book doesn't include nutritional information for the recipes, which is a shame. However you can plug the ingredients into an app like MyFitnessPal to find out the calories and macros for yourself.
Overall, highly recommended.
Imo, similarly to TV cooking shows, these types of books can have 2 functions: purely as entertainment (in the form of a 'coffee-table' book) and/or as a functioning cookery guide with ingredients & method.
This title does BOTH admirably well PLUS it throws in a bit of a travel-guide element by recommending where one can actually source genuine versions of the dishes to slurp up in far-flung destinations.
You may be able to see from Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature that each dish is laid-out very pleasingly on 2 facing pages.
-Background info and descriptions are shown in box-outs over a nice textured background image on the left, with a plainer page on the right offering an ingredients list and method for those who want a bash at knocking it up themselves. There's a relevant photo' displayed on each page.
Mine came with a free ebook downnload of 'The World's Best Street Food' which was a bonus.
I'd value the book at £13 to £15. It's marked as £15- but if it's going for cheaper I'd suggest you snap it up.
[My Ref: Wikid SPICY dishes from around the world book. DROOL! April '14]
I think this one's fairly good though, mainly because it also acts as a recipe book to justify its shelf space. Plus you can find a lot of the dishes in the restaurants of most big cities, so a quick browse of the book can inspire a bit of food exploration closer to home. It's got lots of unusual entries, like Liberian 'Palm Butter,' which I got to try this when I went to Liberia a few months ago. (I don't think I'd have many eaters if I made it here though, because it's one of the spiciest dishes I've ever had. And anyway, I haven't got a four-foot tall pestle or the will to spend hours grinding palm nuts!). Another good one which I haven't come across often in the UK is 'Larb' and 'Larb Moo' from Laos, which I had while travelling and is delicious. There are lots of other exotic-sounding dishes in here I'd never heard of, so it's definitely an interesting read if you like spicy food. There are also some more boring/obvious recipes taking up space though, like Nachos and Arrabbiata pasta (pasta with spicy Italian tomato sauce). I guess whether this bothers you is a matter of perspective though.
The dishes are arranged alphabetically, with one or two photographs per entry. As well as the preparation method and ingredients, you get little text boxes on each page describing a typical setting in which the dish is eaten, the taste, an overview of its historical roots and a suggestion of where to find it in the country of origin. There's also a section devoted to spicy condiments and how to make them at the end. Oh and mine came with a sticker on the cover with a promo code for an ebook guide to 'the world's best street food', but I don't know how long they're doing that for.
In terms of evaluating the authenticity of the recipes, I can't vouch for everything but I asked a Peruvian lady I know to weigh in on the recipe for 'Papas a la Huancaina' and she seemed to think it was accurate. As I mentioned though, every dish has a 'Finding it' box and she thought the suggested place in Lima was quite touristy (not a surprise really since it's in Lonely Planet). Not that it matters though: anyone visiting these countries or trying to make these dishes for themselves would be advised to do a bit more research to get more detailed information, since it's not quite a full cookbook nor a full food travel guide. As an overview, though, it's worthwhile and a fun read. Plus, if you love spicy food, this book might inspire you to seek out a new dish next time you go out for a meal in your home city.
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A lot of the recipes in this book can be attempted by someone with little...Read more
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