A guest review by Helen from Family, Friends, Food
Sometimes, you open a cookery book and are transported thousands of miles, to altogether sunnier, more exotic climes. Creole Kitchen is just such a book – the perfect antidote to a dreary English summer!
The author, Vanessa Bolosier, welcomes us in, and shares the secrets and stories of her family’s culinary heritage, as well as her recipes. I found the history of Creole food fascinating – the many different cultural elements that have combined to make it. As she writes, “Creole food is one of the first fusion foods,… it has been morphing, transforming and evolving since the sixteenth century.”
Alongside their English titles, Creole names for dishes are also presented. It is easy to see the French language influence here, for instance the chapter on Fish & Seafood is called “Pwasson é Fwidemè”. I figured out the first of these as ‘poisson’ – fish in French – but stared at the rest for ages until I realised it said ‘et fruits de mer’!
The book contains around 100 recipes for traditional and modern Caribbean Creole dishes, and is lavishly illustrated with mouthwatering photography. The sunshine seems to pour out of the pages. We are lucky in the UK to be able to buy West Indian ingredients pretty readily, so the recipes are very accessible, and there is no need for specialist techniques or equipment. A little courage with the chillies and you too could be turning out delicious and authentic Caribbean Creole food.
So far, I’ve made two recipes from the book. This first was delicious ‘ti punch’ – a potent mix of lime, sugar, and rum that slips down a treat on a summer’s day. The second was ‘accras de morue’, which are crispy and delicious saltfish fritters that we first ate a few years ago while on holiday in the Caribbean. The homemade versions were easy to make, delicious, and filled us with nostalgia for our trip.
If you’ve never been to the Caribbean, this book will give you a delicious taste of the tropical culinary treats in store there. And if you have visited, it will bring treasured foodie memories flooding back. Either way, you’ll be inspired to put delicious Creole food on your own table, and inject some “sunshine flavours from the Caribbean” into your kitchen.
Creole Kitchen is published by Pavilion cover price £19.99
Thank you to Pavilion for our review copy
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