Sunday, 30 May 2010

Viva Vegan and how I wish I could cook

There was supposed to be more food on this plate. But there isn't. I'll get to that later.

First let's talk about Viva Vegan! in general. It's bloody fantastic. It's half primer for Latin American cooking, half recipes. There are so many variations and 'how too' side bars that I've read it cover to cover three times and I'm still finding new things. And that's even taking into account how I'm probably never going to get some of the ingredients in the UK.

Content-wise I honestly don't think I own a better cookbook - it's detailed, precise and delicious. It's ordered in an interesting yet incredibly workable way. And for once in my life I can say that the appendices are useful. Appearance-wise not so much. Like many niche cookbooks, especially one of this density, the layout is a bit cramped, everything is tightly packed, there just isn't enough white on the page. It didn't stop me from enjoying the book, and of course it's understandable from the publishers perspective, but it did take some getting used to.

Onto the plate. I decided my first meal would be Venezuelan-style Black Beans (because I had black beans), Fried Sweet Plantains (because plantains were going cheap), and Cilantro-Line Rice (for I have a lot of coriander growing). So what happened? Well the beans were so delicious I'm deliriously remembering the taste the morning after (also: leftovers, yay!), the plantains spot on, the rice...? Well I happened to the rice. I mis-measured and ended up with rice soup.

So Viva Vegan a massive success, my cooking not so much.

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