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Curry : a tale of cooks and conquerors
Lizzie Collingham
Adult Nonfiction GT2853.I5 C65 2006

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From Publishers' Weekly:

There's nothing like trying to represent the food of India on a two-page menu to raise tricky questions about authenticity and mass taste. Isn't curry really a British invention? Does chicken tikka masala have anything to do with Indian food? Fortunately, Cambridge-trained historian Collingham supplies a welcome corrective: the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent has always been in glorious flux, and the popularity of chicken vindaloo on London's Brick Lane or New York's Curry Row (and beyond) is no simple betrayal of the cuisine. (As far as charges of cultural imperialism go, if it weren't for the Portuguese, the chilli pepper never would have had its massive impact on the region's delicacies.) Easy stratifications wilt in the face of fact: Hindu and Muslim culinary traditions have been intertwined at least as far back as the 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar, and even caste- and religion-derived gustatory restrictions are often overridden by traditions tied to subregion. Collingham's mixed approach is a delight: it's not every cookbook that incorporates an exhaustive (indeed, footnoted) culinary history, and few works of regional history lovingly explain how to make a delicious Lamb Korma. Collingham's account is generous, embracing complexity to create a richer exploration of the "exotic casserole" that conquered the world. Illus., maps. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In her latest book, historian Collingham successfully depicts the vivid history of Indian foods and cooking. Curry is richly peppered with illustrations, maps, and, of course, recipes. Beginning with a "quest for an authentic Indian meal," the author goes on to describe how foods in India have been influenced by other cultures, especially Mughal and Portuguese. Collingham also explores the impact that curry itself has had on foods around the world, most notably foods in Britain. Of particular value is the glossary at the end of the book in which Collingham defines such terms as ghee, toddy, and dhye. The work is complete with an extensive bibliography for future reading on the subject. All libraries will want to add this to their collections.-Nicole Mitchell, Birmingham, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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