In Cradle of Flavor, author James Oseland takes the reader on a culinary journey to Indonesia, Manaysia and Singapore. Called the Spice Islands and located between Australia and S. Asia, these are the native home to such beloved culinary flavor enhancers as nutmeg, cloves, galangal and tumeric. Oseland has been exploring these regional cuisines for over twenty years, taking over 25 trips to the region, immersing himself in its food, culture, history and perhaps most importantly making friends, enjoying meals with them and collecting their recipes. This book is a culmination of these experiences and the many culinary secrets shared with him over the years.
The recipes in Cradle of Flavor, and there are over 100, are all authentic home cooked foods of the region from street foods to celebration feasts. Many are recognizable favorites such as simbals; chicken satay; noodles and curries while there are some fresh surprises to such as The Soto Kings Chicken Soup and Nyonya Duck Soup with Salted Mustard Greens. Each recipe is clearly presented with thorough instruction on all techniques and substitutions, as well as, addition information found in the cook’s notes and menu sections. This is a book for cooks of all levels, and particularly useful to cooks new to the cuisines is a detailed Chapter, ‘In the Kitchen’ that walks you through the basic cooking techniques, equipment and spice essentials. The recipe headers provide a nice lead-in to the origin of each recipe as well as some ‘need to know’ tips. This attention to detail makes the book very usable and one to trust. About the recipes Oseland reassures, ” Nearly all dishes go from cutting board to table in less than one hour. And like your favorite aunt, they readily forgive mistakes. I’ve yet to make a dish in this book that didn’t taste good, even if I’ve made a misstep in the process of cooking it.”
As executive editor with Saveur Magazine Oseland has proved his writing chops and his personal reflections and experiences pertaining to each dish foster a greater connection to the dish and its roots. His stories and accompanying photographs genuinely reflect his passion for the food and people of these Islands. Both a travelogue and cookbook Cradle of Flavor is an ideal way to immerse yourself in this flavorful and lesser known little pocket of the culinary world.
Categories - Regional, International