Customer Reviews: Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey
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on August 28, 2009
Beautiful coffee table cookbook introducing Turkish food. However, it is written by a total outsider so there isn't much depth in the book. So it is nowhere close to a book like Locatelli's "Made in Italy". Still there aren't that many books about Turkish cuisine and this book surely makes you hungry. Maybe a bit too generous but I give it four stars.

UPDATE: I think I was slightly too hard in my initial review. The books superficially looks like a coffee table book, but I would say it really is a cookbook. There are some travel notes and they are actually quite interesting. (Bear in mind that I don't know anything about Turkey.) The book contains both simple, everyday recipes as well as more complicated. My rating of four stars is still valid. It is not a five star book because it is not really the authoritative guide written by an insider. Still I want to say that I do like this book (maybe 4.5 stars)

I've just been to Turkey and I haven't found many good books in English about Turkish food. They might exist, but in that case they're a bit old and not to be found in book stores.
- My favorite Turkish cookbook is Basan's Classic Turkish Cooking
- Two very interesting books (translated into English) written by Sahrap Soysal, who is a tv-chef personality, I found in Turkey. Not available on amazon
- Basan's The Turkish Kitchen and Turkish Meze: The Little Dishes of the Eastern Mediterranean are not bad. They contain mostly quite simple dishes. Lot's of detailed pictures about preparation. Each recipe covers exactly one page with 12 small pictures. I don't really like this approach. I would recommend Basan's book listed first above.
Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook doesn't contain many of the standard dishes. I think it has quite a bit of Ottoman cuisine in it.
500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine is another book available in Turkey. It looks quite interesting, but this is not really about Turkish food. It is about upper-class Ottoman food. Lower-class Ottoman food is probably a bit closer to Turkish food today.
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on January 7, 2009
The hefty price tag made that it has been on my wish list for a while.
But the book is worth every penny!
It has wonderful travel stories and the most beautiful pictures that take me right back to our holiday in Turkey.
And the recipes are absolutely delicious! There are a few original recipes, but mostly it's Greg Malouf's own recipes which are a modern take on the Turkish kitchen, but put together with the highest respect for it's origins.
The book itself is printed on beautiful paper and has a heavy duty binding.
This book is so good that you might want for the coffee table and one to get stained in the kitchen.
A delicious book!
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on January 31, 2010
I am avid cookbook collector and user, but am rarely moved to write reviews. I have also had the pleasure of visiting Istanbul and experiencing first hand the wonderful cuisine. Turquoise far surpassed my expectations. It is hard to know what pleases me more - the excellent collection of recipes presented with clear, easy to follow instructions or the amazing photographs and descriptions that place the recipes in their colorful contexts. It is definitely one of the gems of my collection, one which I would recommend highly both to someone looking for a gift or to treat themselves.
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on December 16, 2014
I sent it to my best friend as a Christmas gift. She loved it. A beautiful book on Turkey with lovely pictures and great recipes.
I strongly recommend it to anyone who love Turkey and Turkish food.
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on August 16, 2014
I wanted this book from the moment I spotted it in my local book store. I didn't buy it and when I realized how much I thought about it I went back to buy it, but the last copy was GONE!
I ordered it on Amazon and keep it on my dining room table where I flip through it everyday.
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on September 28, 2009
I am a collector of cookbooks and let me tell you, get this one. Some very different recipes with well written, clear directions. I could live on the yoghurt with chicken soup and the olive salad with pistachios, walnuts and pomegranate seeds is fabulous. I am cooking my way through it....Terrific book.
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on October 23, 2013
After reviewing the good reviews here, we got this as a gift for our friend who loves Turkish food and wants to learn more.
However, it turned out to be a huge disappointment. The only good thing about this book is its cover and that's it.

I find the all pictures and photos in the book really offensive and misleading. If I hadn't lived there for 22 years, then I would believe that it is a third world country or maybe worse. This orientalist approach from 19th century needs to change, when we are talking about a country which is a EU member candidate.

Secondly, the recipes are overrated in the previous comments. You can find similar recipes if you just Google it, nothing fancy or beneficial about this book besides its cover.

Because of that, we returned this book immediately and got the book by Ilkin and Kaufman ("The Turkish Cookbook: Regional Recipes and Stories"), which I loved to give as a gift.
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on December 29, 2013
My daughter gave this to me as a Christmas present, now I have 4 Turkish cookbooks, and this one is one of the best. The pictures alone are worth the price, but the recipies are also fun to make and result in outstanding dishes. The only caution I have is that the measurements come in ounces, so be prepared to have a converter handy to convert ounces into cups or tablespoons. You will also need access to either a Middle East market or Amazon to order some of the ingredients (pomegranate molasses, for example). Amazon has over 20 pages of Turkish ingredients so it's not hard.
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on December 25, 2014
this is a pretentious book with esoteric recipes that have nothing whatsoever to do with real kitchen cooking. Here are just some of the ingredients some recipes call for: kashkeval, 1/2 lb patirma, 2 sheets yufka pastry, crab stock, 24 round gyoza wrappers, fennel fronds, 1 1l/2 ounces haloumi, 4 sets of lamb brains, tongue, sumac berries, 7 oz. of freekeh, 1 tbsp pekmez, 2 1/4 pounds of rabbit hind legs, boned, l l/2 pounds of lamb sweetbreads, 8 pickled lamb's tongues, 4 boned quail, 4 oz boned quail, 4 oz sucuk, sliced, 4 duck breasts, and on and on..... For some bizarre reason, the photos of the food take up only about 3/4 of a page, leaving the rest of the page blank. And not every dish is accompanied by a photo. Lots of full page pictures pictures of boats docked in harbor, or Turkey's skyline of rooftops, or old men sitting around.
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on March 26, 2009
I have only recently discovered Turkish cooking and this book is certainly going to increase my appetite for it. A travelogue within a cookbook with the kind of photos that let you imagine the sunshine on your shoulders and the aroma of roast lamb with spices you have never tried before. Turkish cooking is basic, healthy, quick and tasty. The Maloufs explain the recipes in a straight forward way. Most of the ingredients are available in city supermarkets especially if you explore some of the smaller middle eastern shops. I tried the lamb shaslicks first up then the pomegranate drink. A real change from steak and 2 veg.
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