Antarctic Cookery

The Antarctic Book of Cooking & Cleaning

Foodie Christmas PresentsAn unusual and interesting eco book about Antarctic Cookery. Authors Wendy Trusler and Carol Devine relate the tale of Antarctica’s first clean-up, carried out by 54 volunteers from five countries.

In three months, they cleared the detritus of 30 years’ worth of previous expeditions. But while most of the volunteers were clearing rubbish, someone had to do the cooking. As the authors say, ‘The first thing that comes to mind about Antarctica is not likely the food. But if you are going there, it is the second.’ Trusler spent ‘many long, white nights’ devising menus with limited ingredients in a camp kitchen — with some success, if the 42 recipes given are anything to go by. The international nature of the project is evident in dishes from Great Wall [of China] dumplings to fondue, goulash and roast leg of lamb.

Along with original illustrations and photos, the book reproduces Shackleton’s famous advertisement for volunteers, which still sends a shiver down the spine: ‘MEN
WANTED for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case
of success. Ernest Shackleton . . .’

Of interest to foodies, geographers and historians. Published 2015, £25 from Harper Design

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Rafi’s Spicebox Curry Cookbook

Rafi’s Spicebox curry cookbook

curry cookbookThis book was due to be published just as The Taster went to press (December 2016). Having tried one of Rafi’s Spiceboxes, we can testify to their lusciousness: really nice, authentic food; and usefully, for those who like very little, or a whole lot, of heat, you get to decide how much heat you need (the paprika comes in a separate packet).

Born in Hyderabad, India, Rafi herself moved to the UK in 1965 and opened her first Spicebox store in 1989. Now, it is a team of passionate foodies headed by her sons, Kevin and Lee. Apparently, the recipes in this book have been bubbling away for years. All are based on Indian flavours and concepts, but adapted to work with ingredients easily found in the UK. Some are designed to fit in with aspects of British life such as the traditional Sunday roast, or to liven up ‘a drizzly British BBQ’ (somehow we feel the British climate was not among the factors that so happily attracted Rafi to these shores). Some are Rafi’s own original recipes, some have been inspired by further travels.

Banjara Press 2016, £20 from Spicebox

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Happy reading!