World Atlas of Food, an armchair traveller’s dream

  • Title:  World Atlas of Food
  • Sub-title:  100 Countries, A World of Flavours
  • Authors:  Recipes by Jenny Morris, Text by Marielle Renssen
  • Photographs:  Shutterstock and Danie Nel Photography
  • Publisher:  Map Studio
  • Year:  First edition 2015
  • Recommended Selling Price:  R295.00
  • ISBN:  978-1-77026-69905

World Atlas of Food

I am a huge fan of Food Network Celebrity Chef, Jenny Morris, also known as The Giggling Gourmet.  I have been fortunate enough to meet her several times and I always find her warm, friendly, sexy and motherly.  One likes her immediately.  I have some of her other cookbooks.  I have watched her demonstrations, and most recently enjoyed a class under her direction at the Fabulous Food Academy launch with co-host Reza Mahammad. Over the years she has catered for Prince Charles, Al Gore, Thabo Mbeki, FW de Klerk, the current Miss World and me.  Morris is in the process of launching a range of wines from the Perdeberg winery, and I have enjoyed these as well as her cooking tuition at the Johannesburg Good Food and Wine Show.

I don’t (yet) know Marielle Renssen, but I like what she has penned and how she has chosen to unlock the culinary culture of the various countries.

Divided into continents, then into countries, this book looks at the Food Influences, National Dish and Food, Mealtime Customs, Food and Festivals, Agriculture, Traditional Dishes and Traditional Drinks of each country, as well as giving a map of where the country is on the continent, its capital, its goverment, its currency, its population, the total area and the location.

100 countries.  Perfect for a two year personal cooking challenge.  Perfect for home schooling, or a family learning project.  Perfect for browsing (armchair travel) and not actually cooking at all.  (People who know me know that I will read the book from cover to cover but rarely cook anything from it.  In my own defence I have made some of the dishes in this book in the past.)

Of course some of the difficulties one may encounter include sourcing ingredients.  Where in Johannesburg can one source banana leaves to make a Madagascan Koba ravina?  Orange-blossom water may also not be available everywhere.  A little word of warning here.  I have in the past purchased ingredients for a recipe, made the recipe, and then had them sit on my shelves until I throw them out.  One must be willing to make a recipe more than once before one fills one’s pantry with new ingredients.  That means one must only make things one is reasonably sure that one’s family will eat.

As one goes on a gastronomic journey across the world, one recipe at a time, one learns, one tastes, one broadens one’s mind (travel, even good armchair travel, does that to one) and has a lot of fun.  This book is a passport to that fun-filled adventure.


About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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