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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic
When I saw the first edition of this book, which was published in 1974, I thought that Sonia Uvezian had begun her food writing career in a manner in which most other cookbook authors would be happy to end theirs. Along with its lucid and informative text, The Cuisine of Armenia showcases a dazzling collection of flavor-packed recipes ranging from the traditional to...
Published on December 14, 1999 by Julie Lee

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good starter book for Armenian cooks.
Thank goodness for Sonia. Some useful recipes, easy to make and nicely illustrated. Well done. A good start for an adventurous cook.
Published 3 months ago by Norman Bissett


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, December 14, 1999
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
When I saw the first edition of this book, which was published in 1974, I thought that Sonia Uvezian had begun her food writing career in a manner in which most other cookbook authors would be happy to end theirs. Along with its lucid and informative text, The Cuisine of Armenia showcases a dazzling collection of flavor-packed recipes ranging from the traditional to the unusual, from the rustic to the sophisticated. The following is just a (the last bite always comes too soon!); Mussels Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts, and Currants (will make a dedicated mussel lover out of anyone); Red Pepper and Walnut Dip with Pomegranate (excellent served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to grilled fish, poultry, or meat); Meat and Egg Rolls (a perfect picnic or buffet dish); Meat Soup with Vegetables and Herbs (Echmiadzin Bozbash) (if you can't make it to Echmiadzin, try this); Dumplings in Yogurt or Tomato Broth (Mantabour) (guaranteed to brighten a dreary winter day); Fruit Paste Dipped in Egg (delightfully original); Oysters in Tomato Wine Sauce (excellent and uncomplicated); Spitted Trout with Tarragon and Pomegranate (simple though hardly commonplace); Roast Chicken with Apricot and Chestnut Stuffing (splendid! Uvezian's own creation); Roast Turkey with Cinnamon-Glazed Apples (easy to make and impressive to serve); Broiled Skewered Pork with Pomegranate Syrup (one of the glories of Caucasian Armenian cooking); Harput Keufteh (deservedly famous and well worth the effort); Keufteh in Yogurt Sauce (a real winner that shouldn't be missed); Ashtarak Dolma (a transcendant experience!); Baked Pumpkin Stuffed with Rice, Raisins, Prunes, and Apples (truly enchanting!); Saffron Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds (elegant!); Fried Eggplant and Tomato Slices with Garlic Yogurt Sauce (a superb combination!); and Yogurt Cream (another great Uvezian invention). Also, all of the savory pastries, pastas, breads, and desserts I have tried are knockouts.
After countless memorable meals resulting from Uvezian's remarkably clear recipes, I can say with certainty that I was correct in my original assessment of this work. The Cuisine of Armenia is indeed a very great accomplishment. I should mention, however, that Uvezian's latest cookbook, Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, is an even greater achievement. In addition to hundreds of fabulous recipes from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, it contains a number of magnificent Armenian ones not found in The Cuisine of Armenia. The book also provides fascinating information on the important contributions Armenians have made to the cultural and economic life of the region, something that has been largely ignored by other food writers. For example, I was surprised to learn of the significant role Armenians have played in the culinary life of Aleppo, where the wheat and flour trades as well as the baking and sale of bread and pastry were virtually monopolized by them for nearly three centuries. The author further informs us that the city's world-famous Baron Hotel, whose dining room once featured wild boar, pheasant, and caviar, has been owned and operated by an Armenian family ever since it was built in 1909.
The Cuisine of Armenia and Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen are masterly volumes that belong in the library of every serious food lover, Armenian and non-Armenian alike. I treasure them both and would give them six stars if I could. Highly, highly recommended!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of Armenian cooking. Unique and exceptional., August 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
I have long been a fan of Sonia Uvezian. Although all of her books are so original and outstanding that it is difficult to single out any one of them, I cannot bestow enough praise on this landmark classic, which documents the extraordinary diversity of Armenian cuisine with hundreds of authentic recipes, extensive background information, splendid menus, an excellent glossary, and handsome illustrations. Spectacular combinations like rice pilaf with flaming apples and quinces, nuts, and dried fruits (Ararat Pilaf) sit alongside earthy peasant bulghur-based dishes and soul-satisfying soups. And what pastries and confections! The dessert chapter alone is worth twice the purchase price! The same can be said for the author's own Armenian-inspired creations.
A born teacher, Uvezian gives clear and easy-to-follow directions that produce superlative results. All of the recipes I have tried have earned raves from family and friends. There are so many wonderful ones that I cannot possibly begin to list them bulghur stuffing (not your usual stuffed grape leaves; there's a great recipe for those, too) -Phyllo pastry boeregs with cheese, spinach-cheese, or meat filling (you'll dream about these!) -Lamb soup with potatoes, apples, quinces, and fresh herbs (poetry in a bowl!) -Fried fish with oranges, black olives, and mint (as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate) -Chicken in wine sauce with mushrooms, tarragon, and walnuts (a hands-down winner!) -Baked pork and bulghur keufteh with beef filling, served with dried apricot soup (another shining example of this book's originality) -Stuffed eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, apples, and quinces (Echmiadzin Dolma) (a truly inspired creation) -Fried eggplant with pomegranate sauce (a brilliant combination that created a sensation when it appeared in the first edition) -From the breads and the coffeecakes, don't miss out on the lavash, pideh, choereg, and tahinov gatah -From the pastries, cakes, and cookies, the baklava, bourma, kadayif, and kurabia are absolutely the best I have ever tasted!
The original hardcover edition of this book, published in the early 1970s, established Uvezian as THE authority on Armenian cooking. Although I am pleased to see the 25th anniversary paperback edition, I hope that this standard work will again become available in hardcover. I also treasure Uvezian's Cooking from the Caucasus as well as her books on appetizers and sandwiches, all of which should be reprinted. I have given copies of several of her books, including The Cuisine of Armenia, as gifts to friends. If you can find any titles by this fine author, grab them
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gold standard when it comes to Armenian cookbooks, December 11, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
About a year ago I purchased this classic as well as Uvezian's "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen," and I am simply hooked! Everything I have tried has been first-rate, and I use both books all the time. "The Cuisine of Armenia" is a truly outstanding volume, full of exciting and easy-to-follow recipes that rely on readily available ingredients and simplified cooking techniques. Like "Recipes and Remembrances," it is one of the few cookbooks that will tempt you to test every recipe on every page. Not only is it a must for every Armenian household, it belongs in the library of every serious cook. It is hard to think of a book more warmly to be recommended to anyone with the slightest interest in Armenian food and culture.
This definitive guide is packed with authentic recipes for dishes that range from earthy peasant fare to elegant banquet creations. Here are some of my favorites: Lamb Soup with Potatoes, Apricots, Walnuts, and Cinnamon; Fish Kebabs Served with Grilled Peppers, Tomatoes, and Onions and Lemon Sauce; Chicken and Mushrooms with Wine, Tarragon, and Walnuts; Roast Rabbit with Sautéed Apples and Quinces; Artichokes Stuffed with Ground Lamb and Pine Nuts Served over Saffron Rice Pilaf; Melon Dolma (Cantaloupe Stuffed with Ground Meat, Rice, Pine Nuts, and Currants; Lentil and Bulghur Keufteh with Green Peppers, Scallions, and Herbs; Baked Noodles, Spinach, and Cheese with Garlic Yogurt Sauce; Braised Leeks with Tomatoes and Dill; Cinnamon-Glazed Pumpkin with Rice, Dried Fruits, and Toasted Almonds; Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce and Pistachios; Phyllo Pastry Triangles with Apple and Nut Filling; Spiced Date- and Nut-Filled Cookies; and Armenian Cherry Brandy. I should also add that this book has some of the best vegetarian recipes I have ever seen!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate guide to a great cuisine, November 19, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
This is an exceptionally fine cookbook, for which Sonia Uvezian deserves the eternal gratitude of food lovers. Anyone seriously interested in Armenian food should own this groundbreaking classic written by one of the most knowledgeable experts in the field. The book offers hundreds of healthful and imaginative recipes (many of them previously unknown in the West). I have tried well over half of them, and all have turned out superbly. Uvezian's text is highly informative, her directions are wonderfully clear and easy to follow, and the ingredients called for are widely available. "The Cuisine of Armenia" is a user-friendly guide for beginners and an indispensable reference for advanced cooks. It has long been considered the standard work in its subject area and should make Armenians even more proud of their heritage than they may already have been.
Another great book by Sonia Uvezian is "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan." This is without doubt the most important volume on the region's cookery, offering a profusion of splendid recipes interspersed with enlightening text and evocative period illustrations.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best out there, April 2, 2000
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This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
This book manages to combine Eastern AND Western Armenian cooking and doesn't require an ethnic grocery store around the corner to make the items. History of certain meals is included. Even a beginning cook, such as myself, can follow the instructions.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A godsend for lovers of authentic Armenian cooking, August 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
This acknowledged classic, the standard in its field, is without doubt one of the best investments I have ever made. I have tried dozens of the recipes, and every single one was fantastic. Ignore the negative comments in the August 5 review--they are totally without foundation. To say it is impossible to find any recipes that are usable in today's Armenian kitchen and that they are all dull and uninteresting is simply preposterous! Such a statement says nothing about "The Cuisine of Armenia" but a great deal about the reviewer. As for the cover of the book, which features a photo of flaming Ararat Pilaf, it is absolutely stunning and a brilliant choice for an Armenian cookbook!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for anyone interested in Armenian cuisine, January 14, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
What a great find! This culinary treasure features a sensational array of national favorites from many regions of historical Armenia. As one has come to expect from Sonia Uvezian, the recipes are easy to follow and yield incredibly delicious results. Everything I have made from this book has elicited raves. It is no wonder that "The Cuisine of Armenia" has become the most trusted volume in its subject area.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The taste and history of Armenian food brought into today's kitchens, July 3, 2005
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
without compromising flavor. Armenian food is is full of history and meaning and reflects the foods native to their land.

This book is written by an Armenian woman who knows her food! Her recipes are easy to understand and there are suggestions for side dishes as well. Reading this cookbook is reading the love of the authors' heritage and the respect she has for this great world cuisine. Everything I have made from this book has made my Armenian husband rejoice.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best has gotten better!, June 17, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
I have used various editions of this classic cookbook over the years, and it remains one of my all-time favorites. Unlike the 1998 edition, which fell apart after only a couple of weeks, this new one is much better made and is holding up very well. Also, the quality of the illustrations is far superior.
Uvezian has done an admirable job of presenting hundreds of mouthwatering and healthful recipes in her characteristically clear and concise style. The dishes described are rich and varied, the simple-to-follow instructions explain exactly what to do, and the ingredients called for are easy to find. The recipes from the Caucasus, which were unknown in America before the original hardcover edition of this book came out, are in themselves worth the purchase price.
"The Cuisine of Armenia" is a real treasure. Not only is it a must have for every Armenian household, it belongs in the library of every enthusiastic cook.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enduring classic, April 23, 2003
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This review is from: The Cuisine of Armenia (Paperback)
This is a very fine cookbook that provides a large number of mouth-watering recipes written in a clear and straightforward style. Dishes from both Eastern and Western Armenia are included, as are a number of Uvezian's own creations that are steeped in the Armenian tradition. Although the book lacks color photos, it does have a stunning color shot of Ararat Pilaf (two peaks of rice shaped like Great and Little Ararat) on the cover and includes beautiful drawings of dishes that are placed at the beginning of each chapter. I especially like the two illustrations that make striking use of old Armenian churches as a backdrop as well as the elegant medieval Armenian manuscript illumination that borders both the title page and the table of contents. Since this volume is moderately priced (and a great value considering the treasure that lies within it), expecting it to contain color photos would be unrealistic; the cost would have been prohibitive. Actually, the directions are so easy to follow that pictures are unnecessary. I would much rather have a cookbook like this that offers an extensive selection of outstanding recipes in addition to a tremendous amount of helpful and necessary culinary information, plus some lovely illustrations. Although Uvezian has provided a generous amount of enlightening historical material that traces the roots of Armenian cuisine far back into antiquity, she has wisely avoided trying to pinpoint the origins of the dishes, a task impossible to accomplish due to the long tradition of cultural and culinary interchange in the Middle East and Caucasus. As she explains, in addition to preserving their repertoire of national dishes, Armenians have skillfully assimilated foods of other peoples in the region and, conversely, a number of Armenian recipes have become part of the cuisines of other cultures. Until a time machine is invented that allows us to go back into the past without being impaled on someone's sword, it is probably best for us not to argue about origins but to celebrate the extraordinary creativity and diversity of Armenian cuisine as presented to us in this exceptional cookbook and to savor the delectable results it produces with joy and gratitude.
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The Cuisine of Armenia
The Cuisine of Armenia by Sonia Uvezian (Paperback - Sept. 1998)
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