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Book Review: Kids' Multicultural Cookbook

Book Review

The Kids' Multicultural Cookbook by Deanna F. Cook (Williamson, 1995)

If your family dinners are in a rut, you might try Multicultural Cookbook out with your kids. This one is for ages 6-12, depending on how much help you want to provide. The recipes are very simple, but do require cutting and heating beyond what most six-year-olds can do safely. Each recipe is rated for difficulty (one spoon for easy, two for harder, three for "you may need a grown-up").

Organized regionally, the book supplements recipes with information about regional dining habits, food utensils, and lifestyle, often with hands-on activities. One page describes lunch boxes in Ghana - what they look like and what they're filled with. The section on Africa includes an illustrated lesson on how children there make a cats-cradle type "bunch of bananas" from a loop of string. Photo-illustrated profiles of real kids from each region describe the child's favorite activities and foods. These add-ons make the book a great browse even if you have no intention of making any of the recipes.

This is a children's cookbook, which means some flavor trade-offs were made in the name of simplicity. Spices and preparation sequences are kept to a minimum. If you seek culinary excellence, you might want to pair this book with a more adult-oriented cookbook about the region you're exploring.


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