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.
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