South of Somewhere: Recipes and Stories from My Life in South Africa, South Korea & the American South

Simon Element. Sept. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781982187569. $30. COOKING
There is much to love about Gray’s first book. The author takes an intriguing approach to what appear to be three distinct cultures: South Africa, South Korea, and the American South. This guide opens with Gray’s experience in each region—growing up outside of Cape Town within the Cape Malay community, teaching abroad in South Korea, and learning to cook family recipes with her mother-in-law in Louisiana—and what led her to eventually share her cooking and recipes on social media. The influences of various cultures on the regions featured cannot be missed, and the book has a variety of tastes that should appeal to nearly anyone. A beautiful summery pimento-cheese tomato-pie galette, a hearty miso-braised pork shoulder, or a traditional and comforting bobotie can be paired with a peachy rooibos iced tea and end with creamsicle pannekoek (pancake) for a culinary meal that travels the world.
VERDICT Whether perusing for the historical background, mouthwatering recipes, stunning images, or the unique melding of three rich cultures, readers will walk away satisfied.
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