Taste of Tanzania by Miriam Kinunda.      Staff Photo By PAUL STEPHEN/StarNews

Few weeks ago [it could be a month or so], I was lucky enough to be one of the selected individuals to receive a copy of a fantastic book by Miriam Kinunda titled Taste Of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes For The West.


As the title suggests, this is a cookbook or in other words a how-to cookbook. I thought, to read the book and write my review basing on contents, colors, fonts and images alone wouldn’t be a fair shot to myself or you [my readers]. I decided to read it first [have read it page to page] and try some of the suggested recipes. That explains my delay in writing this review.


As I was going through the pages, I couldn’t stop thinking of just how brilliant the idea for writing this book was/is. To the best of my knowledge, very few cookbooks have been written on what can be called Swahili Cuisine especially with practical and easy to follow recipes as this one. The few that are in bookshelves and libraries were either not well marketed or they were written specifically for academics or simple tourism purposes and therefore didn’t get a glimpse of a larger audience. Miriam’s book, although written for the west audiences, I believe anyone can relate to it regardless of where they are or coming from.


The end results of what I am trying to say is; even though Swahili Cuisine could be one of the richest [in terms of variety and inter-mingling of cultures] it shamefully still takes a back seat among globally acclaimed cuisines. Taste Of Tanzania is set to change and challenge the status quo.


To achieve that goal and truly put Swahili Recipes on the map, Miriam cleverly uses simplest instructions accompanied with beautiful images to give you an idea about what you should expect if you follow her instructions.


As I mentioned above, I have put almost half of the recipes featured in this book on test. Great news is; they worked 95% of time. By the way I can’t even call myself a below average chef and don’t even let me start to tell you how rebellious I can become when it comes to following instructions.


This book brought me closer to home than I could ever imagine. Whether you know how to cook or not, you can find this book to be very useful. For example, I have used this book as a menu to trigger my appetite. Before heading out for grocery shopping I go through few pages to see what I may want to buy. My grocery-shopping list is prepared with this book open.


Those are just some of the ways I have benefited from using this book. With Taste Of Tanzania in your kitchen bookshelf, you won’t ever have to worry about what you are going to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are enough recipes.


You are what you eat. If there is truth to that, it can be found in Miriam’s book The Taste Of Tanzania that is now available through amazon.com. Here is the link. Buy and support our own. Spread the news that the Swahili people also have great cuisines with clear recipes.


Well-done Miriam. I am going to have Samaki wa Karanga tonight.


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