A Beautiful, Delicious Global Adventure
The moment I received Bryant Terry’s new tome, Afro-Vegan I tore into it. Not literally, but I did read a good chunk of it in one sitting. Since then, I have revisited this book, made a few of the recipes and my conclusion is this – “Damn, I am glad I have this book”. I rarely feel that way about cookbooks so this was a nice surprise.
Afro-Vegan combines so many of my favorite things it is no surprise I love it. This was written as food activism. After a internet search revealed that any type of African American bean recipe did not make it into the top ten results after typing “African American beans”, Terry decided to start this project. It was also written as a way to highlight African and African-American food. These are some of my favorite global flavor profiles. How can you not love harissa, berbere, teff, or Ethiopian ANYTHING? This book also has a lot of nice pictures of many of the recipes. I know some will roll their eyes that I include this as a ‘favorite’ but I find the pictures visually stimulating. I also know many people who are bashful about cookbooks that do not include pictures because they want to know what the final product will look like.
So Afro-Vegan has many of my favorite elements, but it also has a wide variety of recipes. The chapters included are
- Spices. Sauces. Heat.
- Okra. Black-Eyed Peas. Watermelon.
- Soups. Stews. Tagines.
- Greens. Squashes. Roots.
- Grits. Grains. Couscous.
- Street Food. Snacks. Small Bites.
- Preserves. Creams. Spreads.
- Biscuits. Smoothies. Porridge.
- Cakes. Treats. Fruit.
- Cold Drinks. Tonics. Cocktails.
As you can see, these are not the normal chapter breakdowns and this is not your normal cookbook. There are song recommendations for the recipes and even some further reading suggestions paired with the recipes. All this makes for a fun and fresh approach.
I really recommend Afro-Vegan. It is a fun, visually bright read that will lead you to try some new cuisines or perhaps it will reintroduce some old favorites. For me, this is a book I will use to insure my daughter is exposed to the foods of the world. Plus, it is full of tasty things for me, too.
Grab a copy and enjoy.
Review by Madelyn Pryor