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The Spice Necklace: My Adventures in Caribbean Cooking, Eating, and Island Lifeby Ann Vanderhoof
Synopses & Reviews
Sailing around the Caribbean in their boat Receta, Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve, set off on a voyage of culinary discovery. They track wild oregano-eating goats in the cactus-covered hills of the Dominican Republic, gather nutmegs on an old estate in Grenada, make searing hot-pepper sauce in a Trinidadian kitchen, cram for a chocolate-tasting test at the University of the West Indies, and sip moonshine straight out of hidden back-country stills.
Along the way, they are befriended by a collection of unforgettable island characters who share their folklore, history, and recipes for mouthwatering dishes like twice-fried plantains, coconut drops, mango chow, grilled fish with passion-fruit-ginger sauce, Trini-style curried shrimp, spice-infused chocolate cake, and many others.
Back in her galley, Ann transforms the ingredients of island life into 71 delicious recipes, bringing them to readers who want to take her adventures into their own kitchens—and even offering helpful substitutions for hard-to-find items. You, too, can make curry like a Trini, dog sauce like a Martiniquais, and coo-coo like a Carriacouan!
Just like Time Out noted of her first book, in The Spice Necklace "page by page, you weave your own impossible fantasy of chucking everything for island adventure and suddenly remember that it doesn't have to be far-fetched after all."
So take a trip into The Spice Necklace-- a marvelous escape filled with sunshine, wonderful food, irreplaceable company, and island traditions.
"In this sunny cookbook-cum-travelogue. Vanderhoof (An Embarrassment of Mangoes) and her perpetually hungry husband ditched their Toronto publishing careers to sail around the eastern Caribbean ingesting as much of the island cultures as possible. Each chapter finds them coming ashore to sample restaurants and cuisine, visit farms and processing sites, and learn to make exotic local dishes. (Vanderhoof's kitchen mentors try to keep her away from sharp utensils, but she manages to acquire 71 recipes for everything from stewed goat to 'mango chow.') The result is a pleasant picaresque, as the couple take in Trinidadian herb plantations or a Grenadian chocolate factory or embark on a ribald quest for an aphrodisiac seaweed on St. Lucia. They endure lousy rental cars and encounter rudeness on Guadeloupe, but for the most part they marinade happily in the gorgeous scenery and the ebullient wisdom of friendly island characters. (One Dominican Rastafarian cooks a great stew and also moonlights as a midwife.) The book is a dizzying whirl of tourism and food porn, but Vanderhoof's breezy, evocative prose makes it pretty tasty. (June 23)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
While sailing around the Caribbean, Vanderhoof and her husband befriend a collection of unforgettable island characters. A wonderful escape into a life filled with sunshine (and hurricanes), delicious food, irreplaceable company, and island traditions.
A book of food, travel, history, recipes and narrative nonfiction about the spices of the Caribbean islands.
"The Spice Necklace is pure pleasure that not only makes me want to run off to an island in the Caribbean, but somehow makes me feel as though I already have. Ann Vanderhoof is a remarkably smart, funny, and generous writer. I would follow her anywhere." Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life
"If you have ever doubted the allure of the Caribbean, The Spice Necklace will show you why you want to go and how to eat when you get there." —Caleb Barber and Deirdre Heekin, coauthors of In Late Winter We Ate Pears
"Vanderhoof takes readers on a lively gastronomic adventure through the delightful islands of the Caribbean. You can even retrace her experiences personally through the 71 authentic West Indian recipes she provides. Altogether tasty." —Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of Around the World in 80 Dinners
While sailing around the Caribbean, Ann Vanderhoof and her husband Steve track wild oregano-eating goats in the cactus-covered hills of the Dominican Republic, gather nutmegs on an old estate in Grenada, make searing-hot pepper sauce in a Trinidadian kitchen, cram for a chocolate-tasting test at the University of the West Indies, and sip moonshine straight out of hidden back-country stills.
Along the way, they are befriended by a collection of unforgettable island characters: Dwight, the skin-diving fisherman who always brings them something from his catch and critiques her efforts to cook it; Greta, who harvests seamoss on St. Lucia and turns it into potent Island-Viagra; sweet-hand Pat, who dispenses hugs and impromptu dance lessons along with cooking tips in her Port of Spain kitchen.
Back in her galley, Ann practices making curry like a Trini, dog sauce like a Martiniquais, and coo-coo like a Carriacouan. And for those who want to take these adventures into their own kitchens, she pulls 71 delicious recipes from the stories she tells, which she places at the end of the relevant chapters.
The Spice Necklace is a wonderful escape into a life filled with sunshine (and hurricanes), delicious food, irreplaceable company, and island traditions.
About the Author
ANN VANDERHOOF is an award-winning writer and magazine and book editor whose work has appeared in publications including Gourmet, Islands, Sail, Outside, More, Explore, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. She is an avid cook, traveler, sailor, hiker, kayaker, and scuba diver. Her first book, An Embarrassment of Mangoes, introduced readers to her life aboard the sailboat Receta.
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