Saturday, August 16, 2014

International Night - Cookbook Review

I'm linking up with Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.  Head over there to see some seriously yummy looking foodie things.

International Night: A Father and A Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World by Mark Kurlansky and Talia Kurlansky

Rating: 4 Stars

Description:  This is a fun cookbook written by a father/daughter team who decided to make complete meals from all over the globe.  For each country there's a short blurb about the country itself and the cuisine followed by recipes for everything from appetizers and main dishes to desserts and drinks and everything in between.

Genre: Cookbook

Why I Picked This Book: When the older kids were younger one Saturday night a month we deemed country night where we had a 3 course meal based on whatever country we picked.  It was a lot of fun and something we still talk about. When I saw this book on NetGalley it reminded me of that.

My Impression:  I LOVE this cookbook.  The idea is just such fun.  For every country or region you can think of there's a complete menu.  There's well known areas such as Provence and much lesser known areas such as Kazakhstan and just about everywhere in between.  Almost all of the ingredients would be easily found in a regular grocery store.  When this isn't the case the Kurlansky's provide you with suggestions of where to find it or substitutions.  They do address that not all the recipes are completely authentic.  Especially with Kazakhstan where they eat quite a bit of horse meat which would be off putting to most American palettes and difficult to find so they substitute the meat.

This isn't a cookbook you would cook from on a Tuesday and many of the recipes are quite labor intensive but it would be great fun for both kids and adults to have a special event night.  Plus it's just fun to flip through.  I do wish pictures of the meals or countries themselves had been included.  There are sketches but I do prefer a photograph when it comes to this type of book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes!  There instructions were clear and the substitutions were realistic.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Definitely!  I'm looking to buy another copy of it myself.  I prefer my cookbooks in book form.

26 comments:

  1. This sounds like an interesting read - love foody books!

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    1. This was really fun to flip through. I loved how they addressed that you may not want to spend a fortune on exotic ingredients.

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  2. This sounds like a very unique book.

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    1. It's really a fun book. I enjoyed flipping through it.

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  3. This I like and want to get for my girls for Christmas. I love your little tradition of culture night.

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    1. It's really fun. I liked that they gave you a little bit of information so you could talk about the country while you eat your meal.

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  4. I haven't gotten into e-cookbooks either, so it says a lot that you're willing to buy a print copy! One of my daughters is still at home and this sounds like something we could have a lot of fun with on a weekend.

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    1. I can't make myself like e-cookbooks. I like to sit down and tag the recipes I want to try and then flip through it quickly which doesn't work for e-books. This would be really fun to do with an older "kid" who could contribute to the cooking. It'd definitely be fun to do together.

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  5. I love your tradition of "country night" - how fun! Maybe we can institute that in my house once the kids are a little older and I have more time to cook anything beyond the very simple. And I love the idea that all the ingredients can be found in most grocery stores...I love cooking food from other countries, but don't do it as often as I would like because of having to find specialty ingredients.
    Thanks for stopping by today!

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    1. It was a Saturday thing only. We had a lot of fun though I recommend getting your kids as involved as possible. They had a good time going to specialty grocery stores and stuff with me. I was impressed with how available the ingredients were. No Asian grocery stores where you stare at packages of things that you don't recognize with the only English being "Made in China"!

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  6. Nice review. Glad to find you via Beth Fish Reads. Cheers from carole's Chatter

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    1. Thank you! I had a good time with this one!

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  7. Sounds good! We used to let our kids pick a country when they were younger and we would do research on it and find something to cook that was eaten in that country. Not always easy but a lot of fun. I like this cookbooks. Fun idea.

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    1. It's really well done. I had a good time flipping through it. I agree that the country thing wasn't always easy but the funny thing is I don't really remember the work and the mess now! I just remember what a good time we had!

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  8. Did you ever see Time-Life's Foods of the World cookbooks? We ordered them many years ago when we were in grad school and I cooked my way through most of them. Taught me to cook! And I am still finding new things to try!

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    1. I didn't but that sounds fun! I taught myself to cook through cookbooks as well. My skill level is a bit uneven - I can do complicated things but easy things that don't require a recipe make me nervous - but it was fun. I love recipes!

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  9. I think it's fun you used ot have a cooking night! I would love to do that. My husband is a very picky eater so we really don't get to try a lot of different foods at home. But when I am at a restaurant I go to town!

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    1. My family is pretty picky as well so it was definitely a challenge to find foods that were exotic as well as foods that they would eat. It helped that this was "special" so they were a little more willing to try stuff. I'm definitely more adventurous in a restaurant. I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen for something no one will eat so I'm always trying stuff when we go out to eat that I'd never make at home.

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  10. I love Mark Kurlansky! I haven't seen this cookbook yet, and from your description and willingness to buy it, I think I need a copy.

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    1. It's really fun though I wish it had more pictures. I'll have to look for his other books since this was my first encounter with him.

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  11. I love the sound of this one and I really like your family tradition of cooking around the world. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. This is a really fun book. We had a great time with cooking around the world. I'm hoping to revive it when the older ones are out on their own. It seems like a fun way to get together.

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  12. Sounds like a fun cookbook and possibly something my stepdad would enjoy. Thanks for reviewing it! I love that you review cookbooks and other nonfiction in addition to fiction.

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    1. It's a fun concept and I thought it was well done except that it could have used pictures.
      Thank you so much! I tend to be eclectic on my reading at times but have sometimes hesitated to review to outside my usual genres.

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    1. I really enjoyed just flipping through it even. It's one of the more entertaining cookbooks I've come across and I have a weakness for cookbooks!

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