As far as I know, there is no cookery book about one single street, certainly not one with such diverse food as West-Kruiskade in Rotterdam. The street with a 1000 flavors. But now there is: Spicy.
Last Summer I worked on this book about the famous multicultural street. I was born in the area, but I had no idea this sketchy street from childhood was so happening. I also thought I knew quite a bit about food by now, but I encountered new ingredients and many new dishes. Ever heard of kwi kwi fish (a little armored fish from Surinam), rocks of jaggery (Indian palm sugar) or soursop leaves (apparently a natural remedy for many physical complaints)? Or eaten kuzkuz (a Cape Verdean corn flour dessert cooked in a flower pot) or pepre watra (a spicy Surinamese fish soup)?
For the book, shop owners revealed their favorite recipe, which was then cooked and photographed by Jinai Looi and Hoi Chin Chong of Het Zesde Geluk (“The Sixth Happiness”). The book has Afghan, Brazilian, Cape Verdian, Caribbean, Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Moroccan, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Surinamese, Thai and Turkish recipes, all made with ingredients found on West-Kruiskade. Photographer Maarten Laupman and I roamed the street, looking for ingredients, faces and stories. With tropical temperatures, it felt exotic. The worldliness I was looking for, was right there in my hometown. The whole experience actually led me to settle back there.