Foreword Reviews

The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook

Certain imported ingredients are now so commonplace that it’s difficult to imagine life without them. For many, bananas, coffee, chocolate, and sugar are no longer occasional treats, but daily supplies. Nettie Cronish’s The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook suggests how these foods can be sourced in an ethical manner, spotlighting them in appetizing dishes.

Fair trade certification ensures independent third-party verification of standards. A higher price covers the cost of production plus a premium for cooperatives to invest in the local community. John Kay, the former chair of Fairtrade Canada, states, “Fair trade is … [a] global language of shared community” that offers “hope for a just and fair world for all.”

Each chapter of this cookbook with a conscience focuses on a particular ingredient, like coconut milk from Sri Lanka or olive oil from Palestine. The one-page recipes come in straightforward steps, with the ingredients listed in a sidebar. There are intriguing combinations of sweet and savory, like “dessert sushi,” chili chocolate muffins, a coffee spice rub for steak, and curry powder and rum appearing in a banana pie. Some specialty or health foods—like spelt flakes and coconut oil—may be more of a challenge to acquire. A glossary of store cupboard ingredients closes the book.

The focus, in Mike McColl’s photographs as well as in the chapter introductions, is on raw ingredients. A map indicates the grower locations. Producer testimonials and processing information enable consumers to picture the whole journey a foodstuff has made from the tree or plant to the table. An appreciation for provenance can dovetail with a desire to make that ingredient shine. For instance, quinoa, an ancient grain grown in the Andes, can form the basis of everything from an omelet to a rice pudding-like dessert.

The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook guides responsible sourcing and showcases unique uses of some favorite foods.

Reviewed by Rebecca Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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