Amber & Rye

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       June 16, 2021


Author  Zuza Zak

Distributor:      Murdoch Books
ISBN:                 9781760525538
Publisher:         Murdoch Books
Release Date:   June 2021  


A Baltic food journey Estonia Latvia Lithuania

This marvellous book Amber & Rye is so much more than a collection of recipes. It is written from the heart, in order to, “Take you on a journey  …and to share unforgettable stories and the culture of the people who live in the Baltic region.” The Zuza Zak loved to hear stories told by her grandmother.

These were a reflection of a by gone era and happy times. When Zuza, had her own child, she decided to travel the Baltic countries and recreate the stories her grandmother had shared. She also wished to experience and write about the cooking and recipes she found there.

The photos in the book show the author and her daughter exploring the towns and cities in their travels. However, this is followed by the recipes which she has collected along the way. Her journey is one of treasured memories of food, and discoveries of remote places. People would often open their homes for visitors to share a meal, so the recipes are certainly authentic. We follow her along the streets and into remote places. These have been photographed by her partner.

Amber & Rye is certainly a book for the adventurous cook. Many of the ingredients are not familiar to us, but readily available in Polish food shops. Zuza makes her own pastries and doughs from scratch and gives detailed instructions on how to do this. The recipes are illustrated, with the method and preparation set out clearly. From Noodles with wild boar, to Turnip Gratin with Latvian Green Cheese, there is an exotic range of food to explore. Drinks such as Elderflower & Vodka spritzer also feature in the recipe list.

Amber & Rye is a complete cultural immersion. The descriptions are written with such joy and excitement; the reader cannot help but enjoy the experience.