International Night: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World *Including More than 250 Recipes*

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Overview

Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark spins a globe and wherever his daughter's finger lands becomes the theme of that Friday night's dinner. Their tradition of International Night has afforded Mark an opportunity to share with his daughter, Talia—and now the readers of International Night—the recipes, stories, and insights he's collected over more than thirty years of traveling the world writing about food, culture, and history, and his charming pen-and-ink drawings, which ...

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International Night: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World *Including More than 250 Recipes*

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Overview

Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark spins a globe and wherever his daughter's finger lands becomes the theme of that Friday night's dinner. Their tradition of International Night has afforded Mark an opportunity to share with his daughter, Talia—and now the readers of International Night—the recipes, stories, and insights he's collected over more than thirty years of traveling the world writing about food, culture, and history, and his charming pen-and-ink drawings, which appear throughout the book.

International Night is brimming with recipes for fifty-two special meals—appetizers, a main course, side dishes, and dessert for each—one for every week of the year. Some are old favorites from Mark's repertoire, and others gleaned from research. Always, they are his own version, drawn from techniques he learned as a professional chef and from many years of talking to chefs, producers, and household cooks around the world. Despite these insights, every recipe is designed to be carried out—easily—by any amateur chef, and they are designed to be completed with the assistance of children.

Mark and Talia invite you and your family into their kitchen, outfitted with overflowing packets of exotic spices and aromas of delicacies from Tanzania and Kazakhstan to Cuba and Norway. From there, recipes and toothsome morsels of cultural and historical information will fill your bellies and your minds, and transport you to countries all around the world.

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  • International Night
    International Night  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/02/2014
Kurlansky, the author of Cod and Salt, approached this newest project with a specific toolset: a globe and his eighth-grade daughter. Once a week he would spin the former, and, with the poke of a finger, the latter would pick a locale at random upon which to base their Friday night dinners. The result is this collection of 52 meals, comprising more than 250 recipes. Restricting themselves in this way results in a broad survey of ingredients, but a limited choice of flavors within any one cuisine: an Indian night that consists of a single appetizer, a lamb entrée, and two vegetable sides is barely representative, and if one’s idea of a New Orleans dinner is not crab étouffée and Swiss chard, then it is best to move on to some of the book’s more obscure regional delicacies. But here, too, the younger Kurlansky’s finger of fate pointed to both hits and misses. Touching down on Tanzania results in spicy coconut soup, well-seasoned duck, and mango cashew pudding. But landing on Cornwall means sardines, crab soup, beef and rutabaga pastries, and lemon pudding. Both teens and adults will find the brief country profiles enlightening, and a bibliography of international cookbooks provides fine fodder for a family library. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Imagine a cookbook that is both a global anthropology adventure and cooking lesson all at once. International Night stimulates a sense of culinary wanderlust—with a playful, refreshing, and authoritative point of view, all of which makes you want to get in the kitchen and cook!" —Danny Meyer, restaurateur and author of Setting the Table

 

"Mark Kurlansky, double your daughter’s allowance. Talia has concocted a far-reaching, mouth-watering global culinary trip, and graciously allowed you to share billing and lick the spoons." —Lemony Snicket

 

"Both teens and adults will find the brief country profiles enlightening, and a bibliography of international cookbooks provides fine fodder for a family library." —Publishers Weekly

 

"A fun idea, an exciting read, and a lot of recipes you’d probably not try otherwise—what’s not to like?" —Library Journal

 

"This is an early favorite . . . because of its rating system for difficulty, its range and the way in which Talia’s notes are spot-on. Everybody can learn, and everybody will eat." —Washington Post

 

"Packed with fascinating tidbits and mouthwatering recipes, International Night is a hands-on culinary treat for the whole family." —Shelf Awareness

 

"The Kurlanskys’ cookbook engages the entire family in the kitchen . . . Everyone can actually win at dinnertime if given some power over what’s on the table." —Edible Manhattan

 

"A lively guide to enjoying global cuisine at home." —Wall Street Journal

 

"The Kurlanskys’ recipes vary in difficulty, and every night is accompanied by a Kurlanskyopedia entry, if you will, about the place. I don’t think I’ll ever make the soup called oyster zousui, but I liked reading about the Japanese distrust of that raw mollusk, and it was nice to find, between the same covers, good recipes for Afghan chickpea meatballs, sauerbraten and Mongolian hot pot." —The New York Times Book Review

Library Journal
07/01/2014
Every week, Talia would spin the globe; wherever her finger landed became the "destination" for Friday's dinner. Fortunately for Talia, her father, Mark Kurlansky (Salt; Cod), is not only a professional chef but also an accomplished (and well-traveled) food writer. This work presents a full year's worth of recipes—52 meals from appetizer to dessert, inspired by countries from Tanzania to Kazakhstan. Each entry includes an essay about the location and/or the fare; the recipe notes are equal parts preparation and contemplation. Talia, who's now in eighth grade, comments throughout the book, which is intentionally kid-friendly (although children with less adventurous palates might find some weeks challenging). The majority of recipes will be accessible to home cooks with solid basic skills, and they're rated for difficulty. Ingredients should be found mostly at local grocery or specialty stores, though in smaller cities, readers may have to rely on the Internet. VERDICT A fun idea, an exciting read, and a lot of recipes you'd probably never try otherwise—what's not to like?—Courtney Greene McDonald, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620400272
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 8/19/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 99,410
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Basque History of the World, 1968, The Big Oyster, and The Eastern Stars, among many other books. He was awarded the 2011 National Parenting Publications Gold Award for World Without Fish, the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonviolence, Bon Appetit's Food Writer of the Year in 2006, the 1999 James Beard Award for Food Writing and the 1999 Glenfiddich Award, both for Cod. The children’s books, The Cod’s Tale and The Story of Salt received the Orbis Pictus award from the National Council of Teachers of English and the ALA Notable Book Award, respectively. He lives in New York City. Visit his Web site at www.markkurlansky.com.

Talia Kurlansky, who often cooks and travels with her father, is in the eighth grade. This is her first book.

Biography

Blessed with extraordinary narrative skills, journalist and bestselling author Mark Kurlansky is one of a burgeoning breed of writers who has turned a variety of eclectic, offbeat topics into engaging nonfiction blockbusters.

Kurlansky worked throughout the 1970s and '80s as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Mexico. He spent seven years covering the Caribbean for the Chicago Tribune and transformed the experience into his first book. Published in 1992, A Continent of Islands was described by Kirkus Reviews as "[a] penetrating analysis of the social, political, sexual, and cultural worlds that exist behind the four-color Caribbean travel posters."

Since then, Kurlansky has produced a steady stream of bestselling nonfiction, much of it inspired by his longstanding interest in food and food history. (He has worked as a chef and a pastry maker and has written award-winning articles for several culinary magazines.) Among his most popular food-centric titles are the James Beard Award winner Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (1997), Salt: A World History (2002), and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (2006). All three were adapted into illustrated children's books.

In 2004, Kurlansky cast his net wider with 1968: The Year that Rocked the World, an ambitious, colorful narrative history that sought to link political and cultural revolutions around the world to a single watershed year. While the book itself received mixed reviews, Kurlanski's storytelling skill was universally praised. In 2006, he published the scholarly, provocative critique Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea. It received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Despite occasional forays into fiction (the 2000 short story collection The White Man in the Tree and the 2005 novel Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue), Kurlansky's bailiwick remains the sorts of freewheeling colorful, and compulsively readable micro-histories that 21st-century readers cannot get enough of.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 7, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Hartford, CT
    1. Education:
      Butler University, B.A. in Theater, 1970

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 7, 2014

    There is so much to love about this book! Curl up by the fire an

    There is so much to love about this book! Curl up by the fire and read about the different countries and dishes represented here, or just get in the kitchen and start cooking! I love that along with familiar places such as Greece, Germany and Italy you also have Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Algeria, Aquitaine, Kazakhstan and French Guinea. My girls love the Cornish Pasties, and Fennel Salad from Sicily is quite lovely and simple to make. Try an entire meal from a country or your choice, or pick and choose dishes to make a truly International night! Hmmm, Spatzle from Germany followed by Hazelnut Salad from Switzerland, Pork Adobo from Philippines, Green Beans and Carrots from Haiti followed by Apple Blackberry Pie from Norway. You are only limited by your imagination--and sometimes your pocketbook for some of the more 'exotic' ingredients.

    A couple of things dropped the rating of this book. Even a few photos would have been nice (an occasional line drawing of a cabbage, pineapple or other ingredient doesn't do much for me in a cookbook). Also, if you don't read the introductory portion of the book you won't know that all the recipes are configured to feed three people because that's the size of the author's family. NONE of the recipes I could find lists serving size. The author explains this away as his daughter telling him when he does math to shrink or expand a recipe he is "no fun", so he leaves that to his reader. Fine, hire someone to do it for you, then. Having recipes designed for 3 people can be pretty awkward for someone with a family of 4. We have six in our family so I can easily double, but others may have to work more to get an amount that works for them. This just feels very unprofessional to me.

    Even with the drawbacks mentioned above, this is a great cookbook full of interesting food. As a homeschool mom, it's also a great tool in school. Instead of just learning about different countries from a book, why not incorporate their cuisine into your studies as well?! With this book we'll get a little extra math in when we double the recipes as well.

    I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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