2017, Hardie Grant London, 9-781-78488-103-0, $35 hb.
Recipes for Indian fish curry or tempura-battered, fried green beans in a Portuguese cookbook might seem like publish publishing errors. That is until one recalls how extensively Portuguese sailors, embarking from Lisbon, encircled the globe during Europe’s Age of Exploration, from the 14th through the 17th century. The Portuguese, explains Seal, introduced tempura to Japan, while medieval Moorish influences “changed [Portugal’s] cuisine completely” through the introduction of “figs, almonds, and coffee.” Rich in historical lore, this cookbook’s 80 recipes highlight Lisbon’s status as a cultural and culinary crossroads. There are some intriguing treats, such as “cat’s tongue” cookies, shaped just like they’re called and “originally French or Dutch,” as well as classics such as fiery piri piri sauce, made with African bird’s eye peppers. Like the Portuguese galleons of the past, this title takes the reader on a far-flung and colorful journey.