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Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews Hardcover – August 21, 2007
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“Poopa Dweck has put together such a wonderful collection of delicious recipes.” (Claudia Roden, author of The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food)
“Aromas of Aleppo is as enticing to read through as to cook from.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“[Poopa Dweck] has made it her task to preserve their venerable cuisine in its fullness.” (Los Angeles Times)
“The large-format book could be relegated to the coffee table but won’t be.” (Chicago Tribune)
“Tinged with the bittersweet memories of a community that lovingly upholds table traditions of the city that evicted all its members.” (New York Sun)
WINNER OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL BOOK AWARD (No Source)
About the Author
Poopa Dweck is an expert on Aleppian Jewish cookery and the creator of Deal Delights cookbooks. A highly active community leader, she frequently lectures and performs cooking demonstrations. She is also the founder of the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center and Daughters of Sarah and the cofounder of the Sephardic Women’s Organization. Dweck lives in Deal, New Jersey, with her husband, and has five children.
Top Customer Reviews
From a recipe perspective, however, this book is far from perfect, and rates a 3. I consider myself a cook and baker of considerable experience, and after making many recipes from this book, I found I had to stick post-its on many pages with notes such as "too much salt", or "had too much filling left over." It's a bit annoying to follow a recipe to the nth degree and discover you had enough meat left over after making the miniature tamarnid mincemeat pies for a whole other batch, or had enough date filling left after making the date-filled crescents to make another 2 dozen cookies (which I did, by making 1/2 of the dough recipe). I also question some of the ingredient quantities in several recipes - 4 cloves of raw garlic to make a small batch of hummus (15 oz can or fresh equivalent) is too much for even the most ardent garlic lover! I had to make another batch of hummus minus the garlic and add it to the first batch to make it edible.
Several glaring misteps such as these make me wonder if the author actually knows how much of an ingredient should go in a recipe, or if she mostly cooks from experience and does not follow written recipes. Many women who have been cooking for years do this, but when you're writing a cookbook, accuracy is critical.
I'm glad to have this book and it sits prominently on a stand in my kitchen - I just keep my post-it pad handy.
What do most Americans know of Aleppo, a settlement founded several millennia BCE and continuously inhabited ever since? Not nearly enough. Also known as Halab, Halep, Alep... the city lies in what is now northern Syria. Jews, Muslims, and Christians have long mingled in what was a provincial capital of the Ottoman Empire. Until recently, in this polyglot and multi-ethnic city, a cultural rival of Damascus, one could find residents representing most of the faiths and ethnic groups of the Near East and eastern Mediterranean.
Surrounded by pasturage supporting flocks and agricultural land yielding nuts, wheat, and olives, the city was a stop for the caravans bringing silk and spices from farther east. Given the ingredients at hand, it is no surprise that the inhabitants of Aleppo expressed themselves as much in the kitchen as they did in the city's esteemed metal, glass, and textile workshops. Aleppo, with its population of Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks and other Europeans has long been renowned for the variety and sophistication of its food.
Through their research and documentation of the rich social, spiritual, and gastronomic textures of Aleppo's Sephardic community, Poopa Dweck and Michael J. Cohen have succeeded admirably in presenting and preserving a culture through food.
Sadly, most of Aleppo's specifically Jewish dishes are now to be found only in the diaspora of Aleppian Jewery. Middle Eastern political tensions over the past 60 years have caused virtually the entire community of Syrian Jews to emigrate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is insanely expensive. I would never own a kindle book that costs that much and I don't. I returned it. It might actually be a good book but the price is insane.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
I own many cookbooks, and this one is terrific. It's large in size...like coffee table size large. However, there are lovely pictures and great recipes on just about every page. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Darkwing Duck
This book was amazing and very easy to read. It gave a historical perspective of Aleppo Jews, their diets, why they eat certain foods on certain holidays, where to find... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Velma J. Taylor
Amazing book over expectations. An extraordinary piece of memory.Published 3 months ago by Marilena Bergamaschi
I have used so many recipes from this book. Loved the pickles! Try them, they are great.Published 4 months ago by T. Mercadal-Sabbagh
I can't remember ordering this item. Can't imagine why I would order it. There are no recipes in this book that would interest me ever!!!!Published 4 months ago by A. J.
A very interesting read. She explains a lot about the culture of Jews in Aleppo (a city in Syria that is almost entirely in ruins today. Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. P. C. Steinert