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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arabian Cuisine & Culinary History - A Vibrant Trapestry of Knowledge!, January 11, 2008
By 
S. Robinson (MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
While exploring various books of Middle Eastern Cuisine and history, I came across
Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) by Amy Riolo, just published in the fall of 2007. What a treasure! This is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for that combines Arabian cuisine with it's rich culinary history. Fabulous food and education all in one!

My passion for exploring foods of the Middle East combined with a thirst for their culinary history (how did the spice trade effect various regions?) is lovingly & authentically represented in this book. Ms. Riolo has researched and chosen wonderful recipes to showcase the beautiful lands of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yeman & Saudi Arabia. These recipes come alive and you can almost smell the delicious array of delicacies represented between these pages. My kitchen will be smelling so good soon!

Sections include: A History of Arabian Cuisine, Regional Differences in Arabian Cuisine, Tips to Remember When Entertaining and more. Ms. Riolo has given us another gift by showcasing these recipes via the different feasts/celebrations where they would be traditionally eaten. Wonder what to serve your guests for a Ramadan Breakfast or Dinner? How about the celebratory foods for an Eid feast? Want to delight your children with an Arabian Tea Party or Pearl Diving Party?

Living & growing up in America, many of us remember the traditional foods our families served at Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah & more. We can even smell them. The same applies to other countries as well. Living in the DC area which has an abundance of cultural diversity, it's wonderful to finally have a great resource to further understand the foods & feasts of our Middle Eastern neighbors.

What's even better is the fact that Ms. Riolo is local in DC (she splits her time between DC & Egypt) and offers culinary lectures and recreational cooking classes throughout the area! She also works with another well know author/cooking teacher/food editor/ and lecturer, Sheilah Kaufman who wrote the Forward in this book. Personally I can't wait to attend some of their cooking/lecture events!

Would I recommend this book? YES!! If you love the Middle Eastern foods and are searching for unique recipes infused with culinary history, this book is for you. If you live in the DC area, why not sign up for one of their classes? I know I will.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really is a delight!, December 20, 2007
By 
This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
I ordered this book because of my interest in Middle Eastern cooking. With its focus on Gulf Arab cooking, this is a rare collection of recipes. The author's knowledge of and deep affection for the cultures of the Middle East shine through on every page.

This book makes an excellent read simply for its cultural content. The recipes are presented in menu format; the author provides a timetable which seems very helpful for each menu. Even for preparing only one recipe, there are explicit instructions on what can be prepared in advance, and what steps must be prepared in advance (marinating etc). This book contains many recipes that I have not seen in any other cookbook (and I have quite a collection!).

Purists may protest, but I love the recipes where the author has incorporated "convenience" foods like crescent roll dough or pull-apart biscuit dough. I have tried many recipes and I have had delicious results. Particular stand-outs so far are the Fish in Saffron Bechamel Sauce (which I made with catfish nuggets), Mini Lamb Pitas (which I prepared with thin-sliced beef), Zucchini with Tahini Dressing, and Croissants with Wild Thyme. The Fish in Saffron Bechamel is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom P, September 9, 2009
By 
Tom P (Tallahassee) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
I bought Arabian Delights to expand my culinary horizons. My favorite cookbooks are the ones that tell stories and this one didn't disappoint! The author tells many stories about her experiences and gives the background behind each "menu" - all very entertaining. My experience with cooking middle eastern food was nil until trying these easy to follow recipes - everything tried has been delicious and fun to make. Ive really enjoyed the subtle new flavors that these dishes bring to the table. Glad Arabian Delights is on my cookbook shelf !!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and highly recommended addition, April 2, 2008
This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
The culinary legacies of Arabian cuisine can be as common as humus and as exotic as a sweet orchid drink. There are several different (albeit complimentary) regional sources of Arbaian cuisine which Amy Riolo informatively details in the beginning of "Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas From The Arabian Peninsula", a compendium of authentic, step-by-step, 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes, combined with menu ideas, and an 'Entertaining Timeline'. Organized into three major sections (Palatial Feasts; Special Ceremonies; Simpler Delights), the sixteen individual chapters range from a Royal Wedding Reception; to a Yemeni Sabbath Luncheon; to a Jeddah Red Sea Picnic. Enhanced with a Glossary, a 'Where to Buy Guide, a Bibliography, and an Index, "Arabian Delights" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library ethnic and specialty cookbook collections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect gift !, August 22, 2013
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This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
My sister has been learning to cook Arabic food and has only found a few recipes online that she can really do perfectly ! For Eid this year I bought her this book and they have already made a couple things out of it ! Its been a hit !
Great book and I highly recommend it. My sister recommends it and her Palestinian husband recommends it ! :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic bool, May 10, 2011
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This review is from: Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Capital Series) (Paperback)
the book is wonderful. It is a foundation cook book. Buy it, make everything in it and you will want to cook more.
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