By Elisabeth Rozin
Author of Ethnic Cuisines
"Expanding on the global perspective of her previous cookbooks (Ethnic Cuisine and The Universal Kitchen) Rozin intelligently probes the origins of "crossroads cooking". .. Examining the evolution and expression of these cuisines within an historical and cultural context, she considers a complex host of factors... In fluid prose, Rozin offers compelling "food for thought", profoundly capturing the nexus of culture and cookery."
....Publisher 's Weekly
Matzo Ball Gumbo? Following in the tradition of her classic cookbook, Ethnic Cuisine, culinary anthropologist Elisabeth Rozin culminates her groundbreaking study of world food with Crossroads Cooking, a vibrant look at how separate ethnic cuisines merge to form exciting new traditions. Crossroads Cooking, a selection of The Good Cook Book Club, offers both an innovative set of 200 recipes and a fascinating look at the evolution of culture from one of the nation's premier food historians.
Dubbed a "culinary wizard and anthropologist" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rozin reveals how the current restaurant trend of "fusion" cooking—a deliberate blending of divergent ingredients -actually a description of all cooking, as every food tradition is built upon the collaborative innovations of the past. Whether it is an exchange of spices, a blending of cooking styles or the replication of a neighbor's dish, very few cultures are untouched by the dynamic nature of food. There are, however, certain areas of the world where these processes are most dramatically in evidence, and it is on these 16 "crossroads" regions that Rozin focuses her keen eye and keener palate.
Organized geographically, each section of recipes is prefaced with historical insight and influential factors such as climate, geography, economics, religion, and nutrition. Rozin takes us to West Africa, where the regional cuisine has incorporated the American imports of hardy corn, savory peanuts and robust chilies while still relying on indigenous fruits and vegetables—illustrated in her recipe for "Roasted Corn and Banana Fritters." Turkey's role as the traditional passage between the East and the West is reflected in such dishes as "Smoky Eggplant Cream", where a traditional Middle Eastern favorite, grilled eggplant, is harmoniously combined with a rich European style cheese sauce. The Creole cooking of New Orleans is a multiethnic melange of flavors, and Rozin presents such innovative creations as "Matzo Ball Gumbo", where the dietary laws of Southern Jews merge with the spirit of the Louisiana gumbo—itself an amalgam of African, Spanish, and indigenous traditions. Other tempting recipes include "Ragu of Swordfish with Tomatoes and Mint" from Sicily, the Filipino dish "Marinated Rock Shrimp with Coconut and Chile", "Creamy Spiced Bean and Pumpkin Soup" from the Caribbean and "Mixed Peppers with Eggplant and Tahini" from Israel.
A seamless blend of cooking, anthropology and geography, Crossroads Cooking will be an essential resource for all culinary enthusiasts. More than a cookbook Crossroads Cooking is a history of culinary change and an eclectic look at world cuisine at its richest and most rampant.
Elisabeth Rozin is the author of The Flavor Principal Cookbook, Ethnic Cuisine, The Universal Kitchen, Blue Corn and Chocolate, The Primal Cheeseburger, and Crossroads Cooking. She teaches and lectures widely on comparative and historic cuisine and is a frequent consultant to the food industry.
The Meeting and Mating of
Ethnic Cuisines—from Burma to Texas in 200 Recipes
By Elisabeth Rozin
Viking Press, June 1999
Hardback, 288 pages, $27.50
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created September 1999
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