Review by C.J. Bunce
It’s a cookbook for the true Renaissance man–or Renaissance cook–or medieval cook, or ancient Egyptian cook, or 18th century Caribbean cook. Many a genre or franchise tie-in cookbook is a gimmick to interest a fanbase, but few aspire to be something better. Assassin’s Creed: The Culinary Codex is the exception, presenting a geographic map of international cuisine that doubles as a time machine-road trip to the past. Available this month from Ubisoft and Titan Books, Thibaud Villanova’s deluxe guidebook is a recipe trove representing the Brotherhood’s greatest Assassins, and it’s available now here at Amazon.
Want to know how good it is? We tried out some recipes…
Each dish is inspired by the Brotherhood: hummus and mahshi for Bayek in Ancient Egypt, moutabel and tea for Altaïr Ibn-La-ahad of 11th century Syria, carciofi and semifreddo for Ezio Auditore of 15th century Florence, squash soup and apple pie for Connor aka Ratonhnaké:Ton in Boston during the American Revolution, gumbo and jambalaya for Aveline De Grandpre of 18th century Louisiana, fish soup and bananas flambe for Edward Kenway of the Caribbean of the 18th century, cole slaw and stew for Shay Cormac of 18th century Portugal, soup and meringue for Arno Victor Dorian in Versailles during the French Revolution, and Scotch eggs and bread pudding for twins Evie and Jacob Frye of Victorian London. Plus appetizers, drinks, and desserts all around.
You shouldn’t review a cookbook unless you try some recipes. So first up was Villanova’s hummus inspired by Bayak of ancient Egypt. The result? The tahini and sesame oil made for hummus as tasty as you’d get in any Mediterranean restaurant. Great for naan or dipping with chips. It would also do well with fresh baked bread and paired with a tapenade.
Next we tried Connor’s acorn squash soup. We used an early season squash which made for a lighter-colored soup, but once the aroma of squash arose from the skillet, we knew this would be a hit. We added our own dash of cinnamon to the recipe and it completed a rich, creamy soup that should rank with the best butternut squash soup you’ve ever had. It will be a good way to get ready for the chilly approaching Fall.
We also tried Shay Cormac’s cole slaw, which was a basic cole slaw recipe that will be familiar to anyone, but without the celery seeds. Basic but good and an easy item to add to your dinner options.
Finally we tried Aveline De Grandpre’s jambalaya. We halved the recipe and used vegetarian sausage. The result is shown above at top. It was actually better than my go-to dish at my favorite high-end creole restaurant. Rich and filling with four kinds of meat, peppers, tomatoes, onion, paprika and cayenne, it will become a staple in my house going forward.
Here are a few other recipes courtesy of the publisher:
All in there are 40 recipes, accompanied by biographies of the characters, and recipes in full color in a hardcover edition.
I wish I had more leftover jambalaya. Mmmm.
Highly recommended, Assassin’s Creed: The Culinary Codex is one of the best genre cookbooks we’re reviewed here at borg. It was the best we tried since the Firefly Big Damn Cookbook reviewed here (Check out others at the tags below). Get your copy of Assassin’s Creed: The Culinary Codex now here at Amazon and at all good bookstores.