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Begin your meal with mezze, derived from the Arabic t'mazza, meaning "to savor in little bites." Try Cevisli Biber (Roasted Pepper and Walnut Paste) spread on warm pita bread. Serve with Salata Horiatiki (Greek Country Salad) and then move on to a main dish of Roast Fish with Lemon and Honeyed Onions or Lamb Tagine with Artichokes and Fava Beans. The cookbook wouldn't be complete without sections on rice, couscous, and bulgur--try Addis Polow (Rice with Lentils and Dates) or Kesksou Bidaoui bel Khodra (Beber Couscous with Seven Vegetables). Finish with a traditional dessert like Orass bi Loz (Almond Balls).
Mixed in with the recipes are Roden's personal experiences as a cook and recipe archivist, and Middle Eastern tales that illustrate the history of a particular recipe or food group. "It was once believed olive oil could cure any illness except the one by which a person was fated to die," Roden writes. "People still believe in its beneficial qualities and sometimes drink it neat when they feel anemic of tired." She also includes a detailed introduction to the terrain, history, politics, and society of the Middle East so her readers can more fully understand why the cuisine has evolved the way it has. "Cooking in the Middle East is deeply traditional and nonintellectual," she says, "an inherited art." It's our good fortune to inherit such a rich tradition. --Dana Van Nest
Her first book on Middle Eastern Food made me aware of her talent. This one contains most of what was in the first book and a lot more, in particular a lot of information about... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Yvonne M. Abhyankar
I bought this book in 2007, and I have used it on a regular basis ever since - every recipe I've tried has turned out easily and delicious, it doesn't require a huge variety of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by lemonzest
I'm returning this cookbook because of major mechanical problems, as if the text was prepared by optical character recognition software applied after the hard copy was scanned. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Francy Frei
The variety of recipes is great! The author gives a great description of the food and culture. The recipes are easy to follow. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mindy Harvath
Any of Claudia Roden's books are superb. This is no exception.Published 4 months ago by Marilyn Blanck
Truly superb and easy to follow recipes. It also includes great charts and history of the recipes, and the area from which they come. And it looks really beautiful on the counter. Read morePublished 5 months ago by the warrior princess