Picks and Pans Review: Kwanzaa

updated 12/02/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Eric V. Copage

Nestled between Christmas and New Year's, Kwanzaa is a secular celebration of Africa and African-inspired culture observed largely by black Americans. Families gather to celebrate "the seven principles," among them Umoja (unity) and Kuumba (creativity). And they feast. To that end Copage presents a scrumptious variety of foods, including spicy fried plantains (Caribbean), dirty rice (U.S.), grouper with tomato-thyme gravy (Bahamas), ginger beer (West Africa) and other delights not only for Kwanzaa but throughout the year. (Morrow, $25)

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