This is a combination guide to street food and cookbook. Each of the 100 entries consists of two pages. The first describes the food, how it’s eaten [that’s not always as self-evident to outsiders as one might think], its origins, where one can find a quintessential or famous example of the food, and whether there are any variants on the recipe. The second page is the cookbook entry, which lists the ingredients and describes the process by which they are combined to create the dish in question.
The foods are divided into broad categories of savory and sweet. The savory category is the larger by far, comprising 80 of the dishes—leaving 20 sweets. The dishes represent about 50 different countries of origin. A lot of these countries are well-known street food cultures such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, Mexico, and the US, but there are also a number of locales with which readers may be less familiar– such as Ghana, Malta, and French Polynesia. The dishes include a number of my favorites, such as Vietnamese Banh Mi, US Breakfast Burrito, Indian Masala Dosa, Thai Pad Thai, Hungarian Langos, and Singaporean Hainanese Chicken Rice. However, I also learned of new dishes that I’m eager to try, such as Croatian Cevapcici, Burmese Mohinga, and Chilean Sopaipilla.
WARNING: While I didn’t deduct stars for it, I will warn readers that this isn’t a good book to get as an e-book—at least unless you have a high-end tablet. It was a bit of a pain to read on my Kindle Touch, and the graphics (which I assume are beautiful in the print edition) were largely useless on my device. One could blow up the text easily enough (within limits, at least,) but the pages got grainy if one blew them up too much—and some of the text remained small when expanded.
There are photos. As I mentioned, on my device they were largely useless (grainy black-and-white) but your results may vary.
I found this book to be interesting and informative. While I wish the e-book had been easier to read, it was well-organized and offered a broad selection of dishes from a large number of countries.
I’d recommend this book for street food lovers and foodies.