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on December 14, 1999
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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on August 4, 1999
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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on December 11, 2000
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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on November 19, 2000
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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on April 2, 2000
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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on August 16, 2000
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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on January 14, 2001
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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on July 3, 2005
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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on June 17, 2002
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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on August 15, 2015
I'd like to respond to the one star reviews that almost deterred me from purchasing this book. I'm glad they didn't. It is a most excellent recipe book with a wealth of information on a difficult topic. The Armenians live in many host countries over a wide cultural range. Still, if we respect the opinions of Copeland Marks, he groups recipes of Holy Land Atmenians together with Armenians living in Calcutta. You cannot tell me that the same lamb recipe will taste exactly the same on two or three continents. So not being Armenian, with a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother from the homeland, I will blindly embrace Sonia Uvezian's authenticity as being representative of Aenian culture.

In the weeks I have read this book, i find the recipes a unique and interesting expression of Caucassian cuisine. Similar in form to many food styles of Southern Russian and Turkey, these recipes however are individual and consistent in their use of flavorings; e.g. Lemons or lemon juice in many of the salads. I find it hard to believe that a good cook would produce boring and tasteless dishes following these recipes, although I have experienced home cooks that could turn most anything into a disaster.

I particularly enjoy the incredible range and diversity of the recipes in this book. Sonia Uvezian's points frequently at which recipes or eating habits are uniquely Caucassian Armenian. Understandly, an Armenian who grew up in Greece might not be familiar with "Keyma", as these are typically Lebonese, but I see nothing inauthentic on citing recipes that have been integrated into a regional cultural repertoire. We are all free to enjoy foreign delights! We would not be exploring diversified ethnic cookbooks otherwise. In short, this is a marvelous cookbook with tremendous range and depth. I am delighted to have it.
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