Olaf Hajek and Annette Roeder
Award-winning illustrator, Olaf Hajek serves up a veritable feast of deliciously inventive visual stories to relish alongside author, Annette Roeder’s taste-bud tingling verbal platters of mind-boggling textual information. Just the thing to satisfy this vegan reviewer despite her aversion to several of the root vegetables that grace the pages of this large playful book. One of them being the parsnips that along with carrots, are the subject of the first spread. I was amazed to discover that members of the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra make use of these (as well as quite a few others featured herein) as musical instruments: imagine playing a carrot recorder or flute, for instance.
Over twenty vegetables are included in this culinary offering, but the author produces more than mere cooking related information: there are garnishings of historical and botanical tidbits, as well as sprinklings of health and healing- related facts.
One of my very favourite veggies is broccoli and I was vastly amused to read that it’s celebrated on not just one but two days: there’s St. Broccoli Day on March 18th and National We Love Broccoli Day just four days later on 22nd.
I’m also extremely partial to both spinach and chard which share a spread, as well as a place in our garden. My mouth is watering at the prospect of those yummy leaves that take centre stage in Hajek’s energetic illustration of same.
If being strictly accurate, there are a few interlopers at this veggie fest. for the tomato, as well as the peppers and chilli are botanically classified as fruit. However why exclude them when they’re usually served as vegetables?
A bountiful harvest is assuredly the result of this collaboration, albeit a lusciously quirky one. Food fun for everyone.