Paula Wolfert is one of the first food writers to acknowledge the importance of Mediterranean cuisine. During a five-year journey that encompassed parts of the Balkans, Turkey, Syria and Greece, she collected a myriad of recipes from native cooks that are easily adaptable to American kitchens. The diet of the region depends upon grains, legumes, vegetables and nuts--perfect for the health conscious--and lends itself to recipes such as pumpkin kibbeh stuffed with spinach, chick peas and walnuts and nettle cheese pie. Wolfert is careful to provide special advice to ensure smooth preparation. The book won both the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award
in the International Category, and the 1995 James Beard Award
in the International Category.
From Publishers Weekly
Food fads may come and go, but meanwhile Wolfert ( Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco ) runs off to some little-documented area of the world and puts it on the (American) culinary map. One of the first food writers to recognize the importance of Mediterranean cuisines, she turns now to the Eastern Mediterranean. Encompassing portions of the Balkans, Turkey, Syria and Greece, the diet of the region depends on grains, legumes, vegetables and nuts, while avoiding meat or using it in small portions. True, this style of cooking is ideal for Americans obsessed with the Food Pyramid dietary guidelines, but Wolfert does not belabor the point. Not only does she offer wholesome recipes easily adaptable to American homes, but she also includes some of the more unusual preparations. A Macedonian nettle and cheese pie is so delicious, she claims, that Wolfert began growing the prickly greens herself. The traditional meaty kibbeh, usually a lump of ground lamb, she reinterprets as a pumpkin kibbeh, stuffed with spinach, chick peas and walnuts. Voices from native cooks, visited over a span of five years, add color, humor and realism to the melting pots of Macedonia, Turkey, the Levant and the Republic of Georgia. Wolfert is careful to add acknowledgements and extra tidbits of advice to help preparations go smoothly. Moreover, the general tone of the book is cheerful and encouraging. No matter how stinging the nettles, one is tempted to grab them firmly, rub them with kosher salt to remove the stings and blanch them for a pie.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.