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A Book of Middle Eastern Food Paperback – February 12, 1974


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (February 12, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394719484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394719481
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mrs. Roden is an inspiring guide to a rather unusual school of cookery. Her recipes are mouth-watering and her directions clear and easy to follow. A Book of Middle Eastern Food is a landmark in the field of cookery." -- James Beard

More than 500 recipes from the subtle, spicy, varied cuisine of the Middle East, ranging from inexpensive but tasty peasant fare to elaborate banquet dishes, all translated into workable Western terms.

From the Inside Flap

More than 500 recipes from the subtle, spicy, varied cuisines of the Middle East, ranging from inexpensive but tasty peasant fare to elaborate banquet dishes.

More About the Author

Claudia Roden was born in Cairo, educated in Paris and London, where she has lived for many years. Widely admired as both a great cook and a fine writer, she has written classic works on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cookery and, most recently, her award-winning The Book of Jewish Food.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This cookbook celebrates the culinary diversity of the Middle East with a wealth of traditional recipes from many countries. The author's enthusiasm for the dishes she describes is evident throughout, and the recipes span the spectrum from everyday meals to more elaborate preparations for holidays and special occasions. Most of the ingredients are readily available, and the food is nutritious, flavorful, and economical. Whether you are an experienced cook or only a beginner, this book has something for you.
Also recommended: "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan," by Sonia Uvezian. This seminal work captures the essence of the region's traditional foods in hundreds of distinctive recipes interspersed with superlative cultural and culinary background material, including unparalleled information on ingredients and utensils.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By lucas cragg on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ms. Roden casts a wide net and captures many a treasure in this indispensible survey of the many foodways and cultures of the Middle East. If all you know of Middle Eastern cookery is pita bread and fallafel, get your hands on this book ASAP! Recipes from cultures as diverse as Persia, Turkey and Morroco are included with many delectables from Ms. Roden's hometown of Cairo, along with culinary insights from the great Arab food writer of the 13th century, Al-Baghdadi. All the recipes are put together in an easy to follow format, with good information on ingredients (though it does appear that she was writing for a British rather than American audience, so some of the terminology may not be immeadiately familiar to readers in the U.S.). Sometimes I think that the book would benefit from photos of some of the finished dishes, but other than that this is a superb introduction to Middel Eastern cookery. Enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have a dog-eared copy of this that is over 20 years old, and it remains one of my favorite cookbooks. The recipes are well written and for the most part approachable. The scope of the book is comprehensive. There may be better books on individual cuisines (Lebanon, Morrocco, Iran, etc.) but nothing can compare to this for its depth and breadth. The chapters on appetizers, salads, soups and substantial dishes are perhaps the best. The book is also a joy to read, and gives you a good idea of the cultures that produced the cuisines.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
I've had Claudia Roden's book since shortly after it was first published. It was invaluable at a time that I was looking to learn how to present enticing "healthy" foods which, at that time, meant a broad range of vegetables, grains and legumes. It was my best friend at a time when my cooking time was limited and I was looking for easy-to-prepare, delicious meals. It was, and remains, a great help when I am looking for a different approach to chicken (or beef or lamb). Finally, in addition to the recipes, it contains historical and social commentary on the dishes presented. After Julia Childs' "Art of French Cooking," it is the cookbook that I have used for the longest period and still refer to on a regular basis.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Howard C. Berkowitz on January 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite cookbooks in the sense of creative cookery -- it gives me starting points for my own innovations, although the recipes would be reasonably easy for beginners to follow.
The book goes far beyond recipes, with valuable information on the culture, and the origins of foods. It's as valuable to read before a trip to a Middle Eastern restaurant as it is as a companion in my own kitchen.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is now some 26 years old. Modern cook books have adopted a format which consists of a series of illustrated steps which make it easy to produce food. This book is basically text based although it has some line drawings. This puts it at a bit of a disadvantage when following the recipes and trying to work out how the final result should look.
Despite that it has qualities which have become rare in modern cook books. That is it exudes a passion for a cuisine which in the 70's was little known in the west. Each chapter has a narrative which are based on the author's affectionate memories of her time living in the middle east. She relates folk tales and old myths and contemporary stories. Her book had the sort of quality that Elizabeth David's books had. That is she portrayed a cuisine and a style of life that seemed exotic but attractive and which people explored.
With the preparation of food when a cook has some experience one tends to alter recipes slightly depending on taste and to achieve the sort of texture and thickness one desired. Thus unlike previous reviewers I have not had many recipes not work although this is to say it might not have happened.
This book arrived in Australia about the same time that we started to have significant numbers of migrants from the middle east. It started to sell at the time when Lebanese and Turkish restaurants started to become popular. It enabled people to make hommos, felafels and flat bread at home.
To some extent the work of the book has been done as now most of the food products are available in supermarkets.
The acceptance of Middle Eastern Cuisine has enriched Australia. In a time in which all of us are becoming health conscious it allows one to incorporate a range of low fat items into our diet which are rich in vitamins and proteins.
This book may be a little dated but it will always remain a classic.
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