Book Reviews

Taste of Persia

The Taste of Persia contains not only phenomenal and practical recipes, but also history, culture, peoples, and beautiful photographs. Before you start reading, peruse the glossary to familiarize yourself with some of the terms that come up frequently in the narrative.

The author is an experienced traveller and accomplished cook who has been able to elect recipes that anyone with some cooking knowledge and interest in new taste sensations can produce. As the title states, the book is about the cuisines of five countries, but due to their proximity to each other there are strong similarities, mainly because of availability of ingredients.

People eat mainly what grows around them. This has always been so, until modern transportation started to change it. In some countries this change happened slowly, and still continues, in others very rapidly as is the case in Western Europe and North America.

Here I am referring to vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and poultry. Spices have been transported over long distances for millennia. Only a century ago it would have been unthinkable to go grocery shopping with a list.

People went to the market to buy what was available, and never dreamed finding strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, or bananas in the dead of winter . Recipes in this book contain some meat, a lot of chicken, and little seafood, as some countries (Armenia, and regions where Kurds live) are landlocked. Iran’s, coasts are long, and seafood is available but transporting the catch to the interior represents obstacles.

Readers will learn about ordinary Iranians, Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, and Kurds, their genuine hospitality, and behaviors in ways that most books never explain satisfactorily.

An excellent book that will educate, and thrill you, plus offer many opportunities to change your diet for the better.

Highly recommended.

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