Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Colorful Palate: A Flavorful Journey Through a Mixed American Experience

Colorful Palate is a warmly written and appealing memoir of cross-cultural family roots and personal recollections growing up, written by Raj Tawney. Released 3rd Oct 2023 by Fordham University Press, it's 160 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

This is the best kind of culinary memoir: interesting and engaging stories and memories alongside well written concise and authentic family recipes scattered throughout. It's -not- a formally arranged cookbook, there aren't any instagram-worthy styled and finished dishes perfecly staged and lit, and the recipes which are included are incorporated into the text with their "origin stories". It gives the whole an authentic and friendly/appealing vibe, and the author is wonderful to read and clearly loves his family and is rightfully proud of his melting pot cultural upbringing. 

The recipes which are included are written down just as a family friend or relative would relate them; written in bullet point lists, sometimes with approximate measures and suggested alternative ingredients or prep. Ingredient measures are provided with imperial (American) measurements, as well as a pinch of this, or add to taste. 

The absolute humanity and humor of his writing, in a blended multicultural family, seems so refreshing in a time of stark American division over questions of race and affiliation. It's a beautiful book. 

Five stars. A great choice for public or secondary school+ library acquisition, for fans of memoirs, and a must for foodies. It's not really a cookbook by any rigid definition of the word. It's is a lovely read and worth seeking out.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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