Jamie returns... with yet another wonderfully and lovingly penned travel-recipe-logue. After reading a few of his books and watching what he did with Fifteen Foundation, I think this world would seriously be a better place if we have more individuals like him. He inspires a whole lot of others to, in the words of Michael Jackson, make a little space, make a better place.
In his new book, Jamie's recipes are borrowed from the various countries which he had traveled to, namely Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Greece and Sweden. He shares on how his perspective had been widen through the different cooking processes that were embraced and practised by all these unique local cultures. Jamie shows us how to steal a great idea and makes it his own with appropriate quotations to what and who inspired him. Never, ever copy someone else's idea. That's just wrong.
Even if you're not a fan of cooking, this book is a keeper because of all those interesting photos that were spontaneously nevertheless carefully captured in the moment. It will spark the travel bug in you.
Now the part which I love love love most that Jamie shared was:
Something France really gets right is the way it fights to protect the heritage and integrity of its food product and producers. So cheeses, butter, wine and other agricultural products with a history and tradition that make them unique are protected by the AOC label (Appellation d’origine contrôlée, or 'controlled term of origin'). This means that the artisan producers who make Roquefort cheese, for example, are monitored to make sure they are making their cheese in the traditional way, using the proper ingredients and ageing the cheese in the same caves at Roquefort-sur-Soulzon they've always aged in. Only then can that cheese be called Roquefort.
Seriously, seriously. It's not just the quality of the product that will be guaranteed, but local heritage, tradition and artisans will also be secured. For example, Ipoh white coffee must:
1) Use beans which have been roasted with palm-oil margarine without any sugar
2) Be served with condensed milk
3) And above all, MADE IN IPOH.
Which means, Ipoh white coffee is protected as a national heritage product which deserves its own patent in this country. Which also means, not every Tom, Dick and Harry can claim they too have Ipoh white coffee. Aik Cheong, Old Town, Ali Baba, Tan Cheong, Whatever and most of all NESTLE. What does a German know about Ipoh white coffee!? You get my point.
Anyway, back to the book. So to widen your horizons especially when we realise that food, travel and culture intermix like a marble cake, this book is a definite keeper :) Enjoy!