There are a lot of book reviews around on this book, so here is my story. I bought this cookbook a few months ago when we first arrived in Frankfurt. I had seen a lot of good things about it floating around the Interwebs and there seemed to be a lot of people raving about it – how could I not purchase a copy. I was a little worried as I haven’t had much exposure to Latin/South American cooking (except for that Mexican episode on SBS Food Safari where they were eating cactus – hmmm not sure where I get that) and the things that came to mind most were nachos and beans. All I could think was I don’t like beans that much! But I bought the book anyways as so many people were in love with it – they can’t all be from a planet that worships beans right?. This was going to be a total hit or miss.
Hyped up on creamy peanut potato gooey goodness I harnessed the power of the Internet and started searching for these other exotic ingredients. Thanks to Toytown Germany I stumbled onto the Klein Markt Halle. If you live in Frankfurt am Main, the only place to go for Latin/South American ingredients (correct me if I’m wrong) is the Klein Markt Halle. Here you can visit three or so shops to pick up all the Dried Chillies, Masa Harina, Annatto Seeds and Corn Husks you need. We shop at:
- Wong's Asian-Latino: (I know, what a name): For all things South American. Annatto Seeds, Masa Harina, Chipolte in Adobo Sauce, Corn Husks other fresh produce.
- Franz Olbrich: For fresh ingredients such as tomatillos, chillies and poblanos
- Pars Bazar: Dried Chillies and other herbs and spices.
This book is fantastic. It has become one of our favourite cookbooks and most used, even though we’ve only had it for a few months. There is nothing overly complicated technically in the book and Terry provides lots of information, tips and insights along the way, making it a well thought out and enjoyable read. Terry creates a nice dialogue with the you, the reader. Some of the recipes do take a long time to cook or prepare so some thought and planning does need to go into when and how you will cook them. They are well worth it though and for two people the meals can be stretched over a couple of dinners and lunches. All the meals have so much flavour and it’s been a really enjoyable journey learning about these ingredients and cooking with them. I haven’t cooked a dish I haven’t liked yet.
In summary, buy the book. It’s a 9/10 (it looses 1 point for not having more pictures).
Also, I have found I love beans, if cooked the right way.
Creamy Potato Peanut Stew (Guatita) with Pickled Red Onions
Mashed Potato Pancakes (Llapingachos) with Peanut Sauce (Salsa de Mani) and Latin Baked Tofu
Peruvian Seitan and Potato Stir-fry (Seitan Saltado)
Potato-Chickpea Enchiladas with Green Tomatillo Sauce
Seitan Chili Tamales
Spicy Tortilla Casserole with Roasted Poblanos
Cuban “Ropa Vieja” Style Latin Shredded Seitan with Yellow Rice with Garlic and Venezuelan-Style Black Beans (Caraotas)
Café Con Leche Flan
Product Description and Bibliographic information
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Title: Viva Vegan!: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers
Author: Terry Hope Romero
Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2010
ISBN: 0738212733, 9780738212739
Length: 285 pages