Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Easy, Healthy and Affordable Family Meals

by Sean Mendez, introduction by Ferran Adrià

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56656-866-1
Publisher: Interlink

International recipes for families interested in cooking a variety of world cuisines together.

This colorful, amply illustrated cookbook emphasizes the educational, nutritional and social benefits of cooking with children, offering 19 recipes from as many nations. The book devotes four pages to each recipe and country, along with enriching notes on food and cultural facts. The country’s flag is depicted with a map locating the country, followed by a double-page spread documenting how to create each recipe. The emphasis here is on fun, collaboration, invention and food as an engaging art rather than exact science; “tasty tips” following recipes invite children to try variations (which always include a vegetarian option). Dishes include the familiar (Mexican fajitas, kebabs from Iran) along with the more adventurous (Brazilian salmon stew, Australian Fish parcel with damper bread). Recipes feel approachable—most are cooked atop the stove, with the most high-tech gadget required being an immersion blender for creaming soup. Ingredients are laid out clearly, with equivalent temperatures and metric measurements—but not always presented in order of use. Though cooking time for meat is mentioned, the more reliable internal temperature might be preferable (“fry until cooked” could result in underdone meat). Overall, though, this cookbook offers complex, authentic international flavors without overcomplicating the process, and the result is something you’d really enjoy having for dinner.

A deliciously engaging fusion of cookbook and cultural lesson. (Nonfiction. 8 & up)