A well-illustrated, worthwhile read it is a journey of discovery, survival and empowerment and it does not pull the punches when it comes to isolation, political turmoil, and poverty.
The recipes are as varied and interesting as the people of the Karoo. The book includes a wide variety of delicious, traditional dishes, covering everything from afval, venison, ostrich, chicken and lamb to “wilder” taste treats, such as baked porcupine back, caracal and jackal. It also includes a superb collection of diverse delights such as oven roasted Greek leg of lamb, kneidlach (Jewish Matza balls or sour dumplings), ruiani ( a Greek nuts and cinnamon cake), askoek (ash cakes), anjera (traditional Somalian pancakes) and an interesting section of old veld remedies.
The food is mouthwatering.
Just reading the recipes makes the reader hungry.
But, it’s the wide variety of personal, poignant stories which link the dishes that make reading this book an adventure through time, Karoo history, traditions and culture.
Sydda interviewed over 78, mostly self taught cooks and healers, aged between 23 and 95, to acquire these. A range of evocative black and white pictures, tints and screens give the book a nostalgic air. These photographs range from wedding pictures through family groups to ancestral portraits and like all old photographs raise the questions of who, where and when. Each in its own way sets the pace, adds richness and romance to the book. They are interspersed with excellent views of the Karoo and photographs of cooks in their own kitchens or home environments.
Karoo Kitchen costs about R450, and is available from most reputable booksellers.
The above review was taken from Rosie's Roundup, a monthly newsletter edited by Rose Willis, a Karoo resident.
The newsletter is chock full of fascinating historical tales, facts, food and other gems all about this special part of South Africa.
You can subscribe to Rosie's Roundup for just R75 for 12 issues.
Contact Rose Willis for more info at email@example.com
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