This cookbook was created in the memory of Elma Rose Francis, whom like many Jamaican immigrants, brought traditional Caribbean gastronomy to the U.K. Hence, the recipes in this book will be familiar to many of us who grew up in a Caribbean home, where the matriarch would cook these meals for extended families (including neighbors and close friends). The steps to each recipe are simple and the entire recipe can be remembered in a single glance. Therefore, it is a great introduction to Caribbean comfort food to audiences that have not grown up cooking these meals. However, for those of us who have, one could not help but feel a sense of nostalgia while reading through this cookbook. It is not just the recipes that trigger memories, but also the style they are written in, as it is reflective of how we learned to cook in the kitchen. For example, not all the ingredients come with exact measurements, as it is not uncommon to teach younger generations how to cook via participation and visual methods. This means “eyeballing” how much of a spice to use and adjusting the flavoring through tastings while preparing the meal.
Some recipes such as the orange and peach ice lollies, Sunday roast, or chicken spice do not have exact measurement for the ingredients, which could make it harder for a novice cook to recreate. These recipes may be more suitable for someone who feels comfortable creating and experimenting in the kitchen without a step-by-step guide. As well as some prep methods are not fully explained, such as the ackee and saltfish recipe that simply states to soak the saltfish before preparing the meal or the rice and peas recipe that states to soak the beans overnight. A novice cook may not know how to do these prep methods before executing the recipe. Therefore, since this is not a step-by-step cooking guide, the best audience for this cookbook would be more advanced cooks who want to try new dishes and explore meals from the other side of the pond. After reading Rose’s Gold comfort food cookbook, I was left with only one thought, “I’m hungry.”