Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soul of a New Cuisine: Earnest Summation




I threw myself into this handsome cookbook after getting back from Africa last summer because the food in Africa, contrary to my expectations, was so spicy, so hearty, so novel, so thoroughly delicious. I wanted to explore further.

The food from The Soul of a New Cuisine was not quite so delicious. I cooked 18 of Marcus Samuelsson's recipes. I flipped through the book just now and wondered why I didn't try more, because a lot of these dishes -- ginger banana salad, trout spaghetti -- look very, very enticing. Or is that just because I haven't had lunch?

Then I read the comments I scrawled next to a handful of the recipes I actually did cook and remembered why I gave up on the book. After a few disappointments -- like a crushingly expensive rack of lamb with an off-flavored spice crust -- I lost faith. The recipes didn't work as well as they should have; the results were not always delectable. One cake failed completely; so did the injera.

The best dishes were the rustic, stewy preparations, like a delicious pot of mashed vegetables flavored with spiced butter. Wonderful, too, was Samuelsson's lamb curry. Less successful were the dishes in which Samuelsson tried to fuse his high-end chef's sensibility with African flavors. I'm thinking about that Berbere-crusted rack of lamb again. It's hard to forgive a recipe that ruins a rack of lamb.

Recipe tally:

worth the price of the book -- 0
great -- 4 (ginger beer, chunky mashed vegetables, lamb curry)
good -- 6
so-so -- 5
flat-out bad -- 3 (peanut cake with caramelized papayas, Berbere-crusted rack of lamb)

Not a terrible book. Not a shelf essential.

20 comments:

  1. I am skipping his presentation at the Austin F&W festival. Mostly because I would rather make sushi with Tyson Cole ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So this African food is different from the African food in Moro?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Melvil Dewey4/20/12, 9:25 AM

    Tipsy: Glad to see the earnestness with which you are catching up on the earnest summations--I always enjoy them. And while I relish the stories (always funny and very well written) from your travel and other family adventures, really I come to your website for the cookbooks. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ginny -- I had to look up Tyson Cole. Will you write about, I hope? I need to tell you the Ko story sometime. I was going to post about it, but I was too furious.
    Beckster -- Moro was Spanish and North African. This book had some North African recipes, but was focused more on southern and central Africa.
    Melvil -- Thanks. One reason I got lazy about the summations was no one seemed to read them, and no one ever commented.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kannur University Hall Ticket 2016
    Kannur University Result 2016 for all course
    Kannur University Admit Card 2016
    Kannur University Hall Ticket 2017
    Kannur University Result 2017
    Kannur University Admit Card 2016
    Kannur University Entrance Date 2016
    Kannur University Degree Allotment
    Kannur University Trial Allotment 2016
    Kannur University Admission 2016
    Kannur University Onlie Admission
    Kannur University Distance Education Result 2016
    Kannur University Hall Ticket 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University BA Result 2016-2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Result 2016 for all course
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admit Card 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Result 2017
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admit Card 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Entrance Date 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Degree Allotment
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Trial Allotment 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Admission 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Onlie Admission
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Distance Education Result 2016
    Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Karnatak State Open University BA Result 2016-2017
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Result 2016 for all course
    Karnatak State Open University Admit Card 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2017
    Karnatak State Open University Result 2017
    Karnatak State Open University Admit Card 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Entrance Date 2016

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karnatak State Open University Degree Allotment
    Karnatak State Open University Trial Allotment 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Admission 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Onlie Admission
    Karnatak State Open University Distance Education Result 2016
    Karnatak State Open University Hall Ticket 2016
    Andhara University BA Result 2016-2017
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2016
    Andhara University Result 2016 for all course
    Andhara University Admit Card 2016
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2017
    Andhara University Result 2017
    Andhara University Admit Card 2016
    Andhara University Entrance Date 2016
    Andhara University Degree Allotment
    Andhara University Trial Allotment 2016
    Andhara University Admission 2016
    Andhara University Onlie Admission
    Andhara University Distance Education Result 2016
    Andhara University Hall Ticket 2016
    Symbiosis University BA Result 2016-2017
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2016
    Symbiosis University Result 2016 for all course
    Symbiosis University Admit Card 2016
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2017
    Symbiosis University Result 2017
    Symbiosis University Admit Card 2016
    Symbiosis University Entrance Date 2016
    Symbiosis University Degree Allotment
    Symbiosis University Trial Allotment 2016
    Symbiosis University Admission 2016
    Symbiosis University Onlie Admission
    Symbiosis University Distance Education Result 2016
    Symbiosis University Hall Ticket 2016
    IBS Hydrabad BA Result 2016-2017
    IBS Hydrabad Hall Ticket 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Result 2016 for all course
    IBS Hydrabad Admit Card 2016
    IBS Hydrabad Hall Ticket 2017
    IBS Hydrabad Result 2017

    ReplyDelete