Over the last few years there has been a tremendous growth of popular interest in Africa and its culture. Housewives are sewing with African fabrics which sell not only in the many new ' Afro" shops but also in the big department stores. A whole generation, introduced to African music by Miriam Makeba, is fascinated with the "click'' song. African playwrights like Wole Soyinka and novelists like James Ngugi and Chinua Achebe are studied in college literature courses. And recently in New York, moviegoers were able to see a Wolof language film from the Cannes Festival by a Senegalese director. Nevertheless, while African fashions, music, art, and literature have all become increasingly popular, African cuisine has remained almost unknown.

African cooking, like Africa itself, now embodies elements of several cultures- Arab, European, and Asian as well as black African. It is varied, it is interesting, and it is delicious. And food in Africa is perhaps more important in everyday social relations than it is in western cultures. African hospitality is without parallel anywhere else in the world. In many parts of Africa the arrival of a guest is followed almost automatically by the offering of food. It is an insult not to offer it, and, even if one is not hungry, it is an insult not to accept. The recipes in this book are authentic, or as authentic as they need to be for American cooks. (Few readers will ever have to grind their own flour or prepare a goat from the hoof for the table.) The book itself is well organized and is full of useful suggestions. It has passed the scrutiny of the ladies on my staff, who like to cook, like to eat, and have been to Africa themselves.

Dr. James H Robinson
Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc.
Extracted with permission from: Bea Sandler. The African Cookbook. Diane & Leo Dillon (Illust.). New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.

To order a copy of The African Cookbook, please contact:

The Carol Publishing Group
600 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Read about The African Cookbook

  • Disclaimer for African Studies Materials

    African Studies Main Menu