Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Mediterranean
Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan
Published: September 1, 2001
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Those who recall Beirut's heyday before the Lebanese civil war brought it all crashing down speak fondly of the city's lively beaches, its cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the multiple culinary traditions intersecting at the Mediterranean's
eastern shore. Arabs, the French, Armenians, and Maronite Christians contributed to the melting pot that was Beirut. Uvezian grew up in the city's halcyon years, and she has re-created the recipes for foods she so happily recalls. Spices play a major
role in Lebanese cooking; cinnamon and allspice add fragrance to both meats and vegetables. Lamb is the meat of choice, but beef makes a good substitute. Pork appears only in Maronite dishes. Vegetables come to the table lukewarm, reflecting a
pan-Mediterranean tradition as well as sparing the cook exertion during the heat of the day. Those wanting to reproduce Uvezian's recipes may find some staples such as pomegranate molasses hard to find, but most ingredients appear in large supermarkets.
Mark Knoblauch--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Located in the very heart of the eastern Mediterranean, the area comprising Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan has provided the world with
what is considered by many to be Arab food at its best. In this landmark, one-of-a-kind volume Sonia Uvezian gives this time-honored cuisine the kind of presentation it truly deserves. Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen is a
revelatory work rich in personal reminiscences, insightful quotations, anecdotes, and proverbs, valuable information on ingredients, utensils, daily meals, and traditions, and evocative period illustrations.
Sonia Uvezian's many memories and
associations establish a sense of place and emotional pull rarely encountered in Middle Eastern culinary literature. The "eastern Mediterranean kitchen" in the title is actually that of her family's summer home in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon's fertile
agricultural and winemaking region, as well as the one in their Beirut apartment. It is where the Uvezians prepared the food they grew themselves or bought from nearby farms, orchards, and markets.
Written by a leading authority on Middle Eastern
and Caucasian cooking and over two decades in the making, this is a fascinating and highly original book imbued with a keen historical perspective and a deep respect for the region's cultural heritage. Few cookbook authors have approached their subjects
with the thorough, painstaking research reflected in this work. A profound understanding of eastern Mediterranean food shines through in its hundreds of superb, clearly written recipes, which are often preceded by illuminating introductory remarks. From
the definitive and much-needed section on pomegranates and pomegranate molasses through the fabulous chapters on desserts and beverages, this book provides indispensable reading for anyone interested in the cookery and culture of Syria, Lebanon, and
Jordan. Like the author's groundbreaking classics, The Cuisine of Armenia and Cooking from the Caucasus, which were among the first to bring Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking to America, it is long on such traditional dishes as tabbuleh and baklava
but also includes innovations, among them Damascus-Style Cheese Dip with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Nigella and Grilled Quail with Sour Cherry Sauce.
Timeless and timely, Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen is a welcome
blend of outstanding scholarship and entertaining reading. A genuine contribution to culinary literature that has already achieved the status of a classic, it will be a treasured addition to the library of anyone interested in Middle Eastern cooking.
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