The World’s Best Spicy Food

Spicy collage around the world

It would be suitable to add the term ‘succulent’ into the title of the second edition of this Lonely Planet food book. Indeed, your round the world food education begins with the collage style cover images on both front and back portraying world renowned dishes and wonders. The key selling point is the authentic aspect of the recipes listed throughout the country profiles.

The author Tom Parker Bowles has a fitting surname as indeed there are a plethora of ‘bowls’ that will be prevalent on every turning page with sumptuous food contents. He starts off with his own synopsis of how he fell in love with spicy food. Initially it was a disaster after sampling a touch of Tabasco that left him in tears, only to quickly regain his composure and has never looked back thereafter, as spices became the focal point of his food escapades.

The dishes and the corresponding recipes are listed in alphabetical order which means you will be able to visit your favourite regions more than once throughout the book. The illustrations of spices and curry powders on market stalls gives you the ‘feel like a local’ aspect when preparing your next aroma of spine tingling dishes. Tom Parker Bowles summarises the word spice as ‘a million different thrills’.

The format throughout makes it easy for the reader to relate the recipe guidelines to the end product. Indeed, locals are depicted cooking their trademark dishes on the appropriate paraphernalia. A caption box describes the origin of the dishes so you can immerse yourself in the culture and history behind the food and build up your own fact file.

The tasting notes below the recipe provides you with the perfect way of how to sample the dish in the local environment of that region. By way of example, should you try Camarones A La Diabla (shrimp) in Tulum, Mexico, be sure to have it with a Margarita on the silky sandy beaches. Furthermore, you are taken through every stage of how it will feel when the fiery kick of a dish settles on your tongue.

You need not brainstorm too deeply about quantities and ingredients required for your next spices spree. The ‘You’ll Need’ section chronologically lists the ingredients and corresponding measurements. Of course if you wish to spice up your life a notch or two you can add extra whole numbers in front of those seeds prerequisites!

After you have licked your lips reading the profiles of all things spicy dishes, the next section lists the all important condiments, which at times can look so tempting to eat itself, such is their imposing and vibrant appearance. The list of options ranges from the ‘Green Chile’ in New Mexico to the ‘Horseradish’ across Asia and Europe. Indeed, displayed at the top right corner of every page is the all important red symbol(s) that signifies the level of chilly incorporated in the said dish or condiment.

A nice touch at the back of the book is the glossary that could potentially prevent you from being unintentionally involved in a ‘lost in translation’ scene when requesting the ‘must have’ or ‘must not’ in your dishes. That said, whatever spices you try, at some point you will smile through fire at the joy spicy food brings to your culinary delights.

The World’s Best Spicy Food retails at ¬£9.99 and in return you will be informed of all the ‘highs’ experienced from spices from all corners of the globe.

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