Synopses & Reviews
Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark spins a globe and wherever his daughter's finger lands becomes the theme of that Friday night's dinner. Their tradition of International Night has afforded Mark an opportunity to share with his daughter, Talia — and now the readers of International Night — the recipes, stories, and insights he's collected over more than thirty years of traveling the world writing about food, culture, and history, and his charming pen-and-ink drawings, which appear throughout the book.
International Night is brimming with recipes for fifty-two special meals — appetizers, a main course, side dishes, and dessert for each — one for every week of the year. Some are old favorites from Mark's repertoire, and others gleaned from research. Always, they are his own version, drawn from techniques he learned as a professional chef and from many years of talking to chefs, producers, and household cooks around the world. Despite these insights, every recipe is designed to be carried out — easily — by any amateur chef, and they are designed to be completed with the assistance of children.
Mark and Talia invite you and your family into their kitchen, outfitted with overflowing packets of exotic spices and aromas of delicacies from Tanzania and Kazakhstan to Cuba and Norway. From there, recipes and toothsome morsels of cultural and historical information will fill your bellies and your minds, and transport you to countries all around the world.
"Kurlansky, the author of Cod and Salt, approached this newest project with a specific toolset: a globe and his eighth-grade daughter. Once a week he would spin the former, and, with the poke of a finger, the latter would pick a locale at random upon which to base their Friday night dinners. The result is this collection of 52 meals, comprising more than 250 recipes. Restricting themselves in this way results in a broad survey of ingredients, but a limited choice of flavors within any one cuisine: an Indian night that consists of a single appetizer, a lamb entrée, and two vegetable sides is barely representative, and if one's idea of a New Orleans dinner is not crab étouffée and Swiss chard, then it is best to move on to some of the book's more obscure regional delicacies. But here, too, the younger Kurlansky's finger of fate pointed to both hits and misses. Touching down on Tanzania results in spicy coconut soup, well-seasoned duck, and mango cashew pudding. But landing on Cornwall means sardines, crab soup, beef and rutabaga pastries, and lemon pudding. Both teens and adults will find the brief country profiles enlightening, and a bibliography of international cookbooks provides fine fodder for a family library." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Imagine a cookbook that is both a global anthropology adventure and cooking lesson all at once. International Night stimulates a sense of culinary wanderlust — with a playful, refreshing, and authoritative point of view, all of which makes you want to get in the kitchen and cook!" Danny Meyer, restaurateur and author of Setting the Table
"Mark Kurlansky, double your daughter's allowance. Talia has concocted a far-reaching, mouth-watering global culinary trip, and graciously allowed you to share billing and lick the spoons." Lemony Snicket
"Both teens and adults will find the brief country profiles enlightening, and a bibliography of international cookbooks provides fine fodder for a family library." Publishers Weekly
"A fun idea, an exciting read, and a lot of recipes you'd probably not try otherwise — what's not to like?" Library Journal
"This is an early favorite...because of its rating system for difficulty, its range and the way in which Talia's notes are spot-on. Everybody can learn, and everybody will eat." Washington Post
From celebrated food writer Mark Kurlansky, a savory trip across the globe for parents and kids, with delicious and accessible recipes and tidbits both cultural and historical.
About the Author
Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Basque History of the World, 1968, The Big Oyster, and The Eastern Stars, among many other books. He was awarded the 2011 National Parenting Publications Gold Award for World Without Fish, the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonviolence, Bon Appetit's Food Writer of the Year in 2006, the 1999 James Beard Award for Food Writing and the 1999 Glenfiddich Award, both for Cod. The children's books, The Cod's Tale and The Story of Salt received the Orbis Pictus award from the National Council of Teachers of English and the ALA Notable Book Award, respectively. He lives in New York City. Visit his Web site at www.markkurlansky.com.
Talia Kurlansky, who often cooks and travels with her father, is in the eighth grade. This is her first book.