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Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Author House (February 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140334793X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403347930
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A recent classic that should be a feature of every food lover's library…. All recipes are treated with commendable thoroughness and clarity. Nasrallah is to be congratulated on her efforts in compiling this exciting and useful cookbook.

Food Lovers Cookbook Collection, Foodtourist.com

From the Author

The book has received the Special Award of the Jury of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for 2007

More About the Author

Nawal Nasrallah, a native of Iraq, award-winning researcher and food writer.
For inquiries and comments, contact author from the recently redesigned website: www.iraqicookbook.com
Mobile URL: dudamobile.iraqicookbook.com

Her cookbook "Delights from the Garden of Eden" acclaimed as the definitive source on the Iraqi cuisine and its history is now released, elegantly styled and generously illustrated with color photos (Equinox Publishing UK). Her book "Dates: A Global History" (Reaktion Books, 2011) is a charming account of the date palm and its fruit, fun to read. Also recently released is her chapter "The Historiography of Arab Cuisine: Issues and Perspectives", the first ever written about this subject, in Writing Food History: A Global Perspective (Berg Publisher, July 2012). Her recipes featured in many magazines and newspapers, such as New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, and Food and Wine.

She is a member of the Culinary Historians of Boston, and has been giving cooking classes, presentations, and demonstrations on the Iraqi cuisine -- ancient, medieval, and modern -- to culinary groups, schools, and libraries. Her English translation of Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh, entitled "Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens" (Brill of Leiden, 2007), was awarded "Best Translation in the World" and "Best of the Best of the Past 12 Years" of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2007. It also received Honorable Mention in 2007 Arab American National Museum Book Awards.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Can't wait to try more recipes.
Bay Frost
It is not just simply a recipe book but tells you some stories and history about the recipe as well...I find it interesting to read myself.
AA
The recipes are so easy to follow and turn out so well.
UmAyah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By AA on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written. Full of interesting stories and tales. Much more than a usual recipe book. And most important very veggie friendly. The way of telling the stories is very fluid, very personal. It is rare to come across a fantastic ethnic cuisine writer who also happen to have such excellent facility with language
Comprehensive and clear with a nice style of writing. Can almost taste the dishes as you read about them.
Loved the various rice dishes and the use of yoghurt is clearly very imaginative in Iraqi cuisine. All so new to me
Enjoy!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By William D. Colburn VINE VOICE on June 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My initial impressions were good. This is a large, weighty cookbook. It has a lot of information in it, and lots of recipes. I especially like all the background information on the ancient cooking techniques. I have a great many cookbooks from the Middle East, and almost all of them have a section on Iraqi food, but never before have I seen such depth and completeness.
Possibly the most important thing in a Middle Eastern cookbook is its recipe for Baklawa. In this fine cookbook, the section on Bawlawa stretches from page 465 through page 477, and the pages are large (8"x11")!
The author is an academic, so there are references, and the bibliography in the back looks like a great place to further any Mesopotamian food intrests.
On the downside, many of the images inside are rather poor resolution, and in one case an image overlays some text, but don't let that bother you. This is agreat book, and well worth the price.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author traces Iraqi cookery back to the dawn of recorded history and the civilization that sprang up about 6000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, where Sumerian mythology placed the mythical mound of creation and a tree of life in a garden that became known as Eden.
Three Akkadian cuneiform clay tablets dating from around 1700 B.C. and stamped with the triangular symbols of some of the world's first writing turned out to be covered with recipes, Ms. Nasrallah wrote. They were for meat and vegetable stews, birds, and chopped meat and spices in bread crust. Over the years, some people who tested the recipes liked them, but Jean Bottéro, a contemporary Assyriologist who deciphered the tablets, concluded that he would not wish them on his worst enemies.
Iraqi antiquity was rife with legendary feasts, Ms. Nasrallah recounted, including a banquet held in the ninth century B.C. by the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II that, according to records found inscribed on a brick, drew 69,574 guests. Over 10 days they consumed 25,000 lambs and sheep, 500 stags, 500 gazelles, 30,000 birds, 10,000 eggs, 10,000 loaves of bread and thousands of gallons of wine and beer.
Pickled locusts and boiled heads of sheep aside, Ms. Nasrallah found a wealth of recipes for no fewer than 300 types of bread, 100 kinds of soup, medieval sandwiches that existed long before the Earl of Sandwich, and a fried eggplant casserole, al-buraniya, which she calls "the mother of all moussakas."
Turning her research into toothsome reality, she made flatbread ("as ancient as the Sumerian civilization itself") and, from a 10th-century recipe, oven-browned eggplant in yogurt sauce drizzled with olive oil and garnished with cumin and chili pepper.
Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bea Lindberg on June 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Nawal Nasrallah has given us all a gift in writing this book. It is a treasure of the first rank. In the midst of all the war and destruction we are witnessing in Iraq, this book has been a wonderful palliative. She reviews the fascinating series of civilizations that have left roots in Iraq including recipes, some of which she has revised for the book. Among the recipes she has embroidered folk tales, jokes, and intriguing historical notes. I read right through the book as soon as I received it. For the last couple of months, I have been cooking almost nothing else but these recipes, and each one is a new and (for me, jaded palate that I am) freshly seductive experience. Please don't neglect to make her spice mixture, Baharat, which perfumes my whole cupboard and is a revelation.
What a shame that Nawal Nasrallah was forced to self-publish, but what wonderful good fortune for all of us that she was not discouraged by publishers' rejections. The time and dedication she put into the work without a guaranteed outcome is amazing. You'll love it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Alkhafaji on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought my cookbook a couple months ago, and I must say I've never used a cookbook so much. That being said, my husband is Iraqi and really loves Iraqi cuisine. For me it's improved my "iraqi cooking" tremendously. Everyone has noticed that I am now making authentic Iraqi food. I am very happy with it. I bought the the other Iraqi cookbook called Iraqi Family Cookbook. While that one is good, it is small. If you are deciding which one to buy, I would definetly get this one. While it doesn't have the beautiful colorful presentations as the other one,it does have a whole lot more recipes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MJM on December 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
I received this cookbook as a birthday gift two years ago. When I opened it, I was excited to find a Middle Eastern cookbook, but was not expecting it to 'measure up' to the 10 or so Middle Eastern/North African cookbooks in my collection, as the author is not well known as are the authors of many of the other books. After all this time, I have made quite a few recipes from this book, and all were fantastic. That being said, I feel that I haven't even scratched the surface of this book. The number of good recipes in the book is astounding, and the history portion of the book is very interesting. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in learning more about cooking Middle Eastern food, and learning about its roots.
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