FIRST CATCH YOUR ELAND: The Food of Africa by Laurens van der Post

FIRST CATCH YOUR ELAND: The Food of Africa

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Recollections rather than recipes: a reverential, anecdotal tribute to the foods of Africa, which begins with the cinnamon-flavored milk soups of van der Post's childhood and travels the continent, characterizing indigenous fare, sorting the authentic from the hybrid, identifying enduring European and Asian influences. The result, despite the somewhat stiff, other-era style, is a tantalizing introduction to West African peanut soup, the Bantu delicacy giraffe marrow, unduplicatable hotpots, the 12-hour wonder of Zanzibari rice, Cape treats like bobotie, sosatie, and bredie, and the elusive bush feast--zebra tournedos, roast springbok, flamingo. Mindful of paradoxes and small ironies, appreciative of the cookery of Hildagonda Duckitt (""the Mrs. Beeton of South Africa""), and unreservedly distressed by modern carvings of the continent, he proceeds authoritatively, impressed by both native growths and imported additions such as coffee, bananas, and penquin's eggs, the last superior to caviar. Notables appear briefly--Selassie is valued, Nehru abhorred--and there's the occasional remembered interlude or teasing aside: district officers avid for locusts fried in black-nosed sheep tail fat, wild honey from bees who favored visiting anthropologists. A unique, estimable gazetteer, and appropriate companion to his Time-Life cookbook.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow