Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Caribbean
Beyond Gumbo : Creole Fusion Food from the Atlantic Rim
Harris, Jessica B.
Simon and Schuster
Published: March 3, 2003
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"Creole food," writes Jessica B. Harris, author of The Africa Cookbook and Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons, "the preeminent taste of the Atlantic Rim of the New World, is a triumphant food that comes from sorrow's kitchens. It was conceived in
the kitchens of the hemisphere's big houses, casas grandes, fazendas, and plantations, and nurtured over coal pots and three-rock stoves in the slave cabins and shanties of the black shack alleys." Creole food is composed rice dishes, abundant hot
sauces, dumplings and fritters, seasoning pastes like sofrito and Bajan seasoning. All that and much, much more. Harris cracks the subject wide open with Beyond Gumbo, her beautifully written, carefully researched, lovingly created seminal work.
There's a helpful glossary of ingredients right up front, and sources for the more obscure spices and the like. Her chapters break out as "Appetizers," "Soups and Salads," "Condiments and Sauces" (this chapter alone is worth the price of the
book), "Vegetables," "Main Dishes," "Starches," "Desserts," "Beverages," and "Menus." You'll find Green Mango Salad from French Guyana; Black Bean Soup from Cuba; Creole Tomatoes and Olives from New Orleans; Spinach and Green Bananas from Guadeloupe;
Corn Stew from Costa Rica; Quechua-style Chicken Stew from Peru; Roast Pork with Passion Fruit Sauce from Costa Rica; and Aunt Sweet's Seafood Gumbo from New Orleans.
The flavors are compelling, layered, often highly spiced--this is the food where
Africa, Europe, and the New World all came together, the original fusion food. And there is no better guide on this glorious adventure than Jessica B. Harris. She brings scholarship and passion to her subject. Her self-discovery is another ingredient in
this rich stew served over rice. Ashé! --Schuyler Ingle
For most Americans, Creole cooking is permanently and exclusively linked to the city of New Orleans. But Creole food is more than the deep, rich flavors of
Louisiana gumbo. In reality, its range encompasses foods spread across the Atlantic rim. From Haiti to Brazil to Barbados, Creole cooking is the original fusion food, where African and European and Caribbean cuisine came together in the Americas.
In Beyond Gumbo, culinary historian and critically acclaimed cookbook author Jessica B. Harris has brought together 150 of these vibrant recipes from across the Americas, accompanied by cultural and historical anecdotes and illustrated with
beautiful antique postcards.
Creole cuisine incorporates many elements, including composed rice dishes, abundant hot sauces, dumplings and fritters, and the abundant use of fresh vegetables and local seafood. In Creole cuisine you might find
vanilla borrowed from the Mexican Aztecs combined with rice grown using African methods and cooked using European techniques to produce a rice pudding that is uniquely Creole. Harris uses ingredients available in most grocery stores and by mail order
that will allow any home cook to re-create favorite dishes from numerous countries.
From Puerto Rico's tangy lechon asado to Charleston's Red Rice, from Jamaica, New York, to Jamaica, West Indies, Harris discovers the secrets of this true fusion
cuisine. Mouthwatering recipes such as Corn Stew from Costa Rica, Aztec Corn Soup from Mexico, Scallop Cebiche from Peru, Baxter's Road Fried Chicken from Barbados, Roast Leg of Pork from Puerto Rico, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple from the United
States, and six different gumbo recipes will lead you to the kitchen again and again. Sweets and confections are an essential part of Creole cooking, and Harris includes delectable dessert recipes such as Lemon-Pecan Pound Cake from the United States,
Three-Milk Flan from Costa Rica, Rice Fritters from New Orleans, and Rum Sauce from Barbados.
To complete the fusion experience, sample drink recipes such as Banana Punch from Barbados and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea from New Orleans. Tastes that are
as bright as tropical sunshine are hallmarks of this international cooking of the Creole world.
With a comprehensive glossary of in
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