I was recently very lucky to be sent a copy of World Food Café: Quick and Easy Recipes From a Vegetarian Journey (Chris and Carolyn Caldicott) to review. Though it’s a vegetarian book, it is loaded with vegan recipes – I would say over 80% of them are vegan and the rest are easily adaptable to suit a totally plant-based diet.
A delicious balance of travel writing and recipes, World Food Café is just the best of both worlds. I am a firm believer that food is one of the best ways to get to know a culture (though not the only one, of course.) Food is at the centre of every single culture in the world and people take great pride in the traditional meals that their families have been preparing for generations. Through this book, and the meals you will cook from it, you will catch a glimpse of life in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Chile, Syria, Lapland … It is such an eclectic mix of countries and cuisines, and I am very excited to be cooking from this book in the next few months.
It really is as if Chris and Carolyn have tucked us into their pocket and we are travelling along with them. The book is full of inspiring photographs of sweeping landscapes, the beautiful people who live in these exotic places. The only thing I would have liked to see more of in this book are photographs of the actual food (I do like to know what I’m cooking is supposed to look like); instead copious photos of sky-kissed mountains, rice fields and smiling street vendors adorn the pages of the book. But that’s not so bad, really.
The recipes are divided by chapters according to countries. I would strongly advise you to read the introduction to each chapter as it will provide you with a short but thoroughly detailed understanding of a given country’s food culture. It’s fascinating stuff.
As I mentioned, this is officially a vegetarian cookbook, but you will find most of the recipes are naturally vegan if not vegan-friendly. You only need make simple substitutions, such as agave nectar or maple syrup for honey, coconut oil or vegan margarine for butter, soy(a) yogurt for dairy yogurt, etc.
I’ve already bookmarked loads of recipes I can’t wait to try (so many, so little time!), such as Buddhist ‘meat’ stew, Iced rooibos tea sundowners, Oven pancakes with strawberry and blueberry compote, Fresh mint and yoghurt borhani, and Apple, saffron and honey butter rice.
If you easily get bored of the same food every day, I can’t recommend this book enough. Each recipe is more colourful and curious than the next, making cooking a real adventure, and all from your own kitchen. In fact, if you’d like to purchase the book, I’ve teamed up with the publisher, Frances Lincoln, to offer you a special price! 🙂
World Food Café: Quick and Easy Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott is published by Frances Lincoln.
Frances Lincoln Limited
74-77 White Lion Street
London N1 9PF