What Do You Think of the Current DCCC Pick?

January 24, 2012
By Holly Jennings

Below are questions for individual pondering or group discussion, and for anyone or any club that’s been cooking and reading the Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club’s most recent pick, 70 Traditional African Recipes by Rosamund Grant.

If you have read and/or cooked from 70 Traditional African Recipes, I’d love to hear what you think of the book.


This book takes a wide view of African cooking, jumping from country to country, in just 96 pages. Did you find it a fun way to explore the foods of Africa? Or would you rather go in-depth, and explore the food of just one nation at a time, such as Morocco or Ethiopia?

Was 70 Traditional African Recipes your first foray into African cooking? If so, do you think it is a good introduction for someone new to African cooking? Was there enough of the “basics” covered?

Do you like Rosamund Grant’s writing style, and the amount of writing? Why or Why not?

One of the selling points of 70 Traditional African Recipes is that the recipes are adapted for the Western kitchen, using relatively familiar ingredients and techniques. Did you find this to be true? Were there any recipes that took longer than you expected, or were more difficult to make than you expected? Is there anything in the recipe instructions that you think could be clearer?

Did you find the book’s very affordable “no-risk” price of $8.99 a good incentive to explore what for many is an unknown cuisine—having no idea whether it would appeal or not? Did you find the numerous photographs helpful?

Did you learn any new cooking techniques or approaches to cooking that you’ll continue to use?

Of all the recipes you tried, whether prepared by you or someone else, which are your favorites?

Do you think you will make recipes from this book again? If not, why not?

What did you learn about African cooking that you didn’t know before using this book? Were you surprised by anything? Before using this book, did you know, for example, that palm oil is a common cooking oil in West African cooking?

Have you been to Africa? If so, how does the food in 70 Traditional African Recipes compare to the food you ate while there?

In general, what do you think of the food? Did you enjoy it? How does it compare to other African foods you’ve eaten, either prepared by you using another African cookbook, prepared by other home cooks, or that which you’ve eaten in restaurants?

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