This lavishly illustrated picture book-style reference is part of the eight-volume "A World of Food" series. In simple, but effective language, Taylor describes how the Nigerian climate, geography and religion affect the lifestyles and food choices of the population. There are excellent sections featuring historical cuisine changes, regional food differences, festivals related to food, and culinary traditions in this country. Related concepts such as the difference between cash and staple crops are highlighted throughout the book. Excellent color photographs depict the wide variety of new concepts and foods introduced here. Nigerian food terms are always introduced with a pronunciation guide. Three simply prepared, but authentic recipes are included here. Students will have no trouble accessing information in this well organized reference which includes maps, a glossary, an index and additional suggested reading and websites. This book is highly recommended for school libraries. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—These titles provide an enticing introduction to the countries and cultures of the world. All of them have color photographs, maps, insets, Web sites, and, of course, recipes to provide a feast of information about distant places. The authors give overviews of the history of the country's food, the agriculture, culture, religious celebrations, regional specialties, and the global influences. Readers learn how climate and soil influence what people eat, and how other cultures impact their customs. At times, what we might call "foreign food" in the United States is our own distorted adaptation. For example, Americans invented chop suey and fortune cookies, and much of our "Mexican" food was created in Texas. Religious influences are prevalent. The Chinese beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism dictate balance in meals, resulting in contrasting flavors, textures, temperatures, and colors. The Rastafarians in the Caribbean eat no pork or shellfish. Some recipes are quite simple, such as the dodo oni-yeri in Nigeria, calling for plantains, eggs, and peanut oil. A few others have ingredients that won't be readily available, such as the rose water used in muhallabia (Lebanon). Most recipes look like healthy choices, such as the tropical fruit punch in Caribbean. They also suggest adult help with chopping and cooking steps. The Web sites are useful and undoubtedly well researched.—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI