4 out of 5 stars

The Black Sea is a place of contrasts. Not only is it the focal point for a number of countries, but it is the meeting point of continents and a place where different cultures contrast and meld. To discover more about this place in the world Caroline Eden circumnavigates its coast.

The surf barely lapped the shore, making the Black Sea look a solid block of blue…

She travels from Odessa to Bessarabia, then to Romania, Bulgaria and onto Turkey. In each of the places she visits, she picks away at the history and culture and meets the people of that country across a table and on a plate. Memories are frequently formed when on holiday over meals and this is her eulogy to the region. It is a wonderful mix of travelogue and recipe book,  adventures as she heads from city to city, restaurant to café, stopping at stalls to sample and purchase the fragrant foods on offer.

I have read a lot of cookery books in my time, and I can recommend this one for the prose and the food and the stunning images of the places and evocative photos of the food she ate on her journey. Also, this is a visually stunning book too, even before you have picked it up. The deep black cover with the silvered waves glisten and the black edges make this a book of contrasts, just like the place.

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