Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey Through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan

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9780292785359: Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey Through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan

The area comprising Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan has provided the world with one of its most distinguished culinary traditions, and, in this landmark volume, Sonia Uvezian gives this time-honored cuisine the kind of presentation it truly deserves. Written by a leading authority on Middle Eastern and Caucasian cuisines, this highly original cookbook offers hundreds of superb recipes, many of them not found elsewhere. Established favorites such as tabbuleh and baklava appear alongside exciting innovations and creative interpretations of classic dishes. The book also contains illuminating essays on a variety of topics, among them hospitality, meals and menus, and utensils. The essay on ingredients includes a definitive and much-need section on pomegranates and pomegranate molasses. What lends this book added distinction is the author's impressive grasp of the historical, cultural, and geographical influences that have shaped the region's cookery. With its personal reminiscences of an eastern Mediterranean childhood, evocative illustrations, and insightful anecdotes and proverbs, this revelatory work is a welcome blend of outstanding scholarship and entertaining reading. A genuine contribution to culinary literature, it will be a treasured addition to the library of anyone interested in Middle Eastern cooking and is destined to become a classic.

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From the Publisher:

Located in the very heart of the eastern Mediterranean, the area comprising Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan has provided the world with what is considered by many to be Arab food at its best. In this landmark, one-of-a-kind volume Sonia Uvezian gives this time-honored cuisine the kind of presentation it truly deserves. Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen is a revelatory work rich in personal reminiscences, insightful quotations, anecdotes, and proverbs; valuable information on ingredients, utensils, daily meals, and traditions; and evocative period illustrations.

Sonia Uvezian’s many memories and associations establish a sense of place and emotional pull rarely encountered in Middle Eastern culinary literature. The "eastern Mediterranean kitchen" in the title is actually that of her family’s summer home in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s fertile agricultural and winemaking region, as well as the one in their Beirut apartment. It is where the Uvezians prepared the food they grew themselves or bought from nearby farms, orchards, and markets.

Written by one of the world’s foremost authorities on Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and over two decades in the making, this is a fascinating and highly original book imbued with a keen historical perspective and a deep respect for the region’s cultural heritage. Few cookbook authors have approached their subjects with the thorough, painstaking research reflected in this work. A profound understanding of eastern Mediterranean food shines through in its hundreds of superb, clearly written recipes, which are often preceded by illuminating introductory remarks. From the definitive and much-needed section on pomegranates and pomegranate molasses through the fabulous chapters on desserts and beverages, this book provides indispensable reading for anyone interested in the cookery and culture of Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Like the author’s groundbreaking classics, The Cuisine of Armenia and Cooking from the Caucasus, which were among the first to bring Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking to America, it is long on such traditional dishes as tabbouleh and baklava but also includes innovations, among them Damascus-Style Cheese Dip with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Nigella and Grilled Quail with Sour Cherry Sauce.

Timeless and timely, Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen is a welcome blend of outstanding scholarship and entertaining reading. A genuine contribution to culinary literature that has achieved the status of a classic, it will be a treasured addition to the library of anyone interested in Middle Eastern cooking.

ABOUT THE RECIPES: The imaginative use of spices, herbs, and other flavorings, fresh vegetables and fruits, dried legumes, grains, and yogurt highlights all manner of dishes ranging from earthy to elegant, many of them not found elsewhere. You will find sensational dips (for example, Hummus with Mixed Spices, Toasted Nuts, and Mint; Muhammara with Tahini; Yogurt Cheese Dip with Red Pepper Paste; Feta and Yogurt Cheese Dip with Za’atar); colorful salads redolent of their sun-drenched origins (Tomato, Cucumber, and Green Pepper Salad with Walnut Dressing; Fattush; Orange, Lemon, and Onion Salad); soul-satisfying soups (Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard and Potatoes; Meat Soup with Pumpkin, Quince, Apricots, and Prunes); inspired seafood, poultry, and meat dishes (Baked Fish with Tomato Sauce Garnished with Sautéed Pine Nuts, Raisins, and Onions; Chicken, Green Pepper, and Tomato Kebabs; Musakhan; Duck with Quinces and Pomegranate Sauce; Ground Meat Kebabs with Sour Cherry Sauce; Grilled Stuffed Kibbeh); hearty and nourishing grain and pasta dishes (Chicken and Freek with Tomatoes; Lamb, Eggplant, and Saffron Rice Mold; Bulgur Pilaf with Dried Fruits and Nuts; Meat Dumplings in Yogurt); tempting vegetable and fruit dishes (Red Cabbage with Quince or Apple; Stuffed Chard Leaves; Dandelion Greens in Olive Oil; Meat-Stuffed Prunes with Oranges); vibrant sauces (Tahini Sauce with Toasted Nuts, Mixed Spices, and Herbs; Garlic Yogurt Sauce; Pomegranate Sauce with Garlic and Mint; Sour Plum Sauce with Ginger and Toasted Nuts); time-honored breads and savory pastries (Sesame Pita Bread, Za’atar Bread, Mountain Bread, Lahm bi Ajeen, Fatayer, Sambusak); unusual sandwiches and snacks made with mountain bread and pita (Flatbreads Stuffed with Spiced Ground Meat, Red Pepper Paste Pizza with Pomegranate); and more than thirty irresistible desserts.

About the Author:

Sonia Uvezian was born and brought up in Beirut, Lebanon. A leading authority on Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and the winner of a James Beard Award, she is the author of six other highly acclaimed cookbooks, including "The Cuisine of Armenia", "Cooking from the Caucasus", and "The Book of Yogurt". Several of her books have been selections of Book-of-the-Month Club and published internationally. Ms. Uvezian has also contributed articles and recipes to Gourmet, Bon AppÚtit, Vogue, and numerous other publications.

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Uvezian, Sonia
Editore: University of Texas Press (1999)
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