Stacy's Reviews > The Spice Necklace: A Food-Lover's Caribbean Adventure

The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof
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's review
Sep 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: food-writing, travel
Read from August 25 to September 17, 2010

I received a complimentary copy of this newly published novel, an account of a middle-aged woman who takes off with her husband on a sailboat and cruises the Caribbean, exploring the culture, food and history of the places they encounter. “The Spice Necklace” is actually a second follow-up to her first book “An Embarrassment of Mangoes” which chronicled her first such sailing expedition.

In this volume, Ann returns to visit some old friends, meets many new ones, and shares around 80 recipes for the delicious dishes she learns to prepare. Many feature the indigenous spices and ingredients: goat meat stewed with oregano and tomatoes, spice-infused chocolate cake, and dumpling-dotted “broths” (soups) filled with chunks of yam and plantain and swirled with coconut milk.

From the Dominican Republic and Grenada, to Trinidad to Guadeloupe, Ann makes a pleasant travel companion and is always eager to discover the secrets of the locals. Light and laid-back (like the island people she meets), this novel makes a great summer read, or a fun read any time your mind wants to take a trip with food.

The only bad part about reading this book is the potential to feel bitter that you are just an ordinary person with a job and stress and responsibilities while some people can apparently sail around paradise and eat good food for several years without having to worry about anything... :-) At least they were willing to share their experience.

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