Just before my third birthday, my family moved to Nairobi, Kenya. My memories start there and the two years I lived and attended school there have shaped much of my life. So, when the opportunity to review Miriam Kinunda’s cookbook Taste of Tanzania, nostalgia compelled me to say, “Yes!”
Summary of Taste of Tanzania
“I love to cook and entertain and have always served Tanzania dishes to my guests and friends,” said Kinunda (now Malaquias). “After receiving many requests for my recipes, I decided to start a website where they would be accessible to the masses.” And from there, Taste of Tanzania was developed.
The cookbook focuses on the cuisine of Tanzania, which shares a border with Kenya and Uganda on the East coast of Africa, along the Indian Ocean. This cuisine is influenced by Swahili (Bantu), Persian, Indian, and European cuisines. There is a wide variety of dishes from appetizers to main dishes to desserts.
What Worked for Me
I enjoyed the introduction, which included a lot of background information about Tanzanian cuisine, adding to what I already knew.
The photographs are homespun, which really lends a sense of authenticity to the cookbook. This isn’t some sleek, corporate book pushed out to make bucks. You can tell this was a labor of love.
The recipes look straight forward and easy to follow, and the author made an effort to translate authentic recipes into something that a cook in the U.S. could make.
What Didn’t Work for Me
The cookbook is printed on glossy paper, probably to make the photographs look better, but this also adds to the weight. It has quite a heft and increases the price of the book.
What I’d Love to See in the Second Edition
I would love to see an edition that was more wallet-friendly. There are some pretty amazing recipes in this book, but the $30+ price point makes it beyond what a lot of people may be willing to spend on cuisine with which they are unfamiliar.
If you enjoy exotic foods, full of flavor, then I suggest you give Taste of Tanzania a try. It was fun to peruse the book and remember the cuisines of my childhood. You might enjoy them, too.
Rating for Taste of Tanzania
Full Title: Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West
Author: Miriam R. Kinunda (she now goes by Miriam R. Malaquias)
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
Publisher: Miroki Publishing
Language: English with touches of Bantu and others
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you’ve read past book reviews, you’ll know that I don’t pull my punches when I believe they are warranted. I also try to provide balanced information so you can make your own decision to read or not read the book, even if you disagree with my opinion.