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World Food Café 2: Easy Vegetarian Food from Around the Globe    by Chris Caldicott & Carolyn Caldicott order for
World Food Café 2
by Chris Caldicott
Order:  USA  Can
Frances Lincoln, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

The sequel to World Food Café (published in 1999) is just as colorful, informational and mouthwatering as the book that started it all. Authors Chris & Carolyn Caldicott, owners of the World Food Café restaurant in London, are proud globe-trotters and even prouder vegetarians. They travel the world in search of new vegetarian dishes and in this book they reward readers by sharing the delicious fruits of their labor.

I have to admit to being a bit apprehensive when picking up this book. I feared that since the authors focused on recipes gathered from exotic foreign lands, the ingredients would be hard to find. In their introduction, the authors immediately put my trepidation to rest. 'As with the previous book,' they tell us, 'we have substituted ingredients that would be hard to find with others that are more readily available. We have cooked every recipe both on the large scale we need for the café and in a scaled-down version for cooking at home.' Tried and tested recipes specifically gathered from international cuisines yet tweaked to fit a western cook's pantry? For the food lover, it just doesn't get much better than that.

The book is organized by geographical regions. In North Africa and Arabia, you'll find recipes such as Lablabi (a spicy chickpea soup), Chickpea, Date, and Pine Nut Pilaf and my favorite, Pomegranate, Beet, and Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese. From there, we move on to Sub-Saharan Africa, which offers such culinary delights as East African Wilderness Sweet Potato Patties and Kenyan Curry with Okra and Peas, Topped with a Fried Egg.

From India, the authors share recipes for Mustard Spiced Cauliflower and Coconut Chutney. In Pakistan, we learn to make a delicious side-dish named Lahore Butter Saag and in Cambodia we're introduced to a refreshing Green Mango Salad, among other exotic recipes. There are also tempting concoctions from Thailand and Malaysia, Islands of the Indian Ocean, Islands of French Polynesia, Central America, Islands of the Caribbean, and Venice. And what cookery book would be complete without a chapter on desserts? In the final chapter, World Food Café Desserts, the authors tempt us with such scrumptious treats as Apple, Date and Cinnamon Cake and Guatemalan Flan.

The enticing recipes are complemented by full-color pictures of food, as well as photos of the parts of the world that inspired them. In addition, the authors also thoughtfully provide a short travelogue-style essay at the beginning of each chapter, sharing their views on that particular location. An engaging, unique book, World Food Café 2 would delight any food lover and armchair traveler on your holiday list.

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