Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid (Cookbook Review)
About the book-
Following up on Burma, her stunningly well-received exploration of another fascinating cultural crossroads, Duguid introduces us to the next place we want to visit with recipes for food we can't wait to make, and with tales that are memorable and moving. In the way that the Mediterranean has a common palate, so too do these nations: one centered on a love for the fresh and the green (beginning with the piles of fresh herbs that accompany every dish with abandon) and also the tart, as revealed in the ingenious use of sour plums, sour cherries, pomegranates, and limes. There are the delectable filled dumplings, flatbreads, and stuffed vegetables; plus gorgeous Persian rice dishes, grilled meats, and skewered kebabs. There are fresh cheeses, sparkly salads, spice blends, and spectacular sauces based on walnuts ground to a paste.
Taste of Persia is an adventure of discovery—not only of a fascinating region, rich with history and variety, but of a wealth of culinary traditions and innovations as well.
My husband's parents were both born in Tehran and grew up in Iran until they were older (one a teenager and one a young 20-something) when the moved to the United States. The second that I started dating their soon I became enamored with Persian food. The food is aromatic and flavorful and different from anything I have tasted, even 13 years later. I have one Persian cookbook and it is well worn but I have always wanted more than what that particularly book had to offer. Taste of Persia drew my attention because of the beautiful cover, that evokes a very Iranian feel for me with it's use of color, particularly the saffron water. The cover is only the beginning of an entire book of beautiful photography. I like that the book is full of great photos of different markets around the regions, gorgeous pictures of vibrantly colored foods, and, of course, pictures of people from this region. I also enjoyed that this book wasn't just about Iranian food, but about the history of Persia and Persian food and the surrounding regions with equally as interesting cuisine. This cookbook was well researched and I appreciate that. Now, on to the food. I am only familiar with Iranian food so the other countries in the region showcased in the book were all new to me and I could pretty much try anything in this book and guarantee I would like it. My only complaint is that a couple of my favorite Iranian recipes, recipes that would be very popular in the region, aren't included in the book and that is a shame for people who are new to this type of food. However, the rest of the book more than makes up for these omissions. I look forward to experimenting in my kitchen with Taste of Persia on my cookbook stand guiding me along.
Taste of Persia will be available on September 20, 2016. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com.