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BOOK REVIEW: THE 50 GREATEST DISHES OF THE WORLD by James Steen

BOOK REVIEW: THE 50 GREATEST DISHES OF THE WORLD by James Steen
Allen & Unwin, paperback, rrp$22.99
March 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 /10

We initially thought this was going to be a recipe book – but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, James Steen has compiled an intriguing and exotic history of what he considers the 50 Greatest Dishes Of The World.

He’s not afraid to throw out a gnarly curve ball, opening, bizarrely and awesomely, with ANTS – yep, crawly, bitey ants! Sheen explains how a 16th century Chinese tome of some 4,400 pages categorises ants as a herb, and how they have been a staple of many diets for all of time. It’s fascinating stuff – though certainly unusual for our western palates.

More expected entries include Burgers and Shepherds Pie, Fish and Chips and Paella, Roast Beef and Tagine, Chicken Kiev and Gazpacho, Apple Pie and Cheesecake.

Steen’s knowledge of the histories of these dishes is second to none, making this fantastically interesting, even explaining how the term barbecue came into our global language from the Arawak tribesmen of the Caribbean, whose word barabicu – for a frame upon which to store meat out of rodents way – inspired the idea to cook on a freestanding platform. Fascinating.

BOOK REVIEW: THE 50 GREATEST DISHES OF THE WORLD by James Steen

Filed Under: Book Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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