Reviews of Curry: A Global History

How did curry become so popular around the world, and how have its manifestations changed over time? These issues – and more – are taken up by Colleen Taylor Sen, whose Curry: A Global History offers a fascinating look into the origins of curry and its ubiquity around the globe today.

Steven E. Gump, Southeast Review of Asian Studies

The beauty and variety of the illustrations, from maps to ancient drawings, richly colored antique product labels, and–of course–mouth-watering photos of curry dishes, made the experience that much more engaging.

This book would be a great textbook for aspiring chefs everywhere. But even those who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen can enjoy the interesting history and diverse preparations of curry. Some (maybe me?) may even be tempted to try the historical and modern recipes in the last chapter.

Amazon Review

…a comprehensive, entertaining and enlightening tour of the world, as we learn of the widespread appreciation of “curry”, a type of cuisine that nourishes, tantalizes millions of palates, and even inspires poetry…Ms. Sen enlivens our journey with anecdotes, cultural proclivities, and photos. Recipes, both historic and modern are here as well, so treat yourself to a good read, and perhaps, something new to try.

Amazon Review

Colleen Taylor Sen takes a strictly geographical approach to “Curry: A Global History.” Her definition of the dish is broad: hot sambals of Indonesia, South African bobotie, Australian concoctions of curried mutton and rice, and Goan-Portuguese vindaloo, to name a few. Her penultimate chapter ends with entertaining descriptions of Japan’s curry obsession. Schoolchildren there have voted it their favorite lunch food, and Japanese curry chains have been exported to the United States. It’s fair to come away from this skimmable treatise with the notion that curry is globally beloved because it’s cheap to prepare and, in the case of Indian curries, imbued with antibacterial properties. The book’s relatively extensive collection of recipes includes goat, turkey, chicken, beef, fish and vegetarian curries, both old and new. (Note to the Edible Series graphics director: “Stink lines” hovering above a bowl of noodles sauced with curry, as seen on the cover and repeated inside, are not so appetizing.) (Read the full article on The Washington Post.)

Washington Post