THE WORLD'S BEST FOOD: For Health and Long Life by Michael; Caroline Conran & Oliver Gillie Bateman

THE WORLD'S BEST FOOD: For Health and Long Life

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An earthy international compilation of annotated recipes, based on the assertion that the world's best food is found ""not in the richest countries of the West,"" but in areas where diet-related diseases are rare and traditional diets contain far more grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables and far less meat and fat than people consume in the US and England. (Bateman and Gillie are associated with the London Sunday Times.) Thus meat dishes are de-emphasized and those that are included use meat as one of several ingredients. More common are fish and such vegetarian staples as bread, rice, or pastas, beans or beancurd, and vegetables with sesame seeds or sauce. Standard ethnic dishes prevail (refritos, tortillas, chileis rellenos from Mexico), though only generally available ingredients are used and there are some eclectic novelties such as a carrot, cashew, and ginger quiche described as American. The authors provide introductions to the foods of each region and some commentary on staples such as rice, breads, and oils. These summaries have some interest for Western cooks just branching out, but they occasionally betray a hasty, second-hand knowledge. (To correct just two offhand misstatements, maize is not the staple cereal in Africa, and rice does not ""adequately supply"" vitamins C and A, far less B) Taken lightly, though, this can serve as an easygoing introduction to the new, informal, small-planet approach to eating well.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1981
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin