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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
As a child in Beirut, Anissa Helou unsuccessfully begged her mother for permission to sample the delicious-smelling food from the street vendors. As an adult, she finally got her wish by tasting street food from all over the Mediterranean. From the tagines of Morocco to the sesame galettes of Greece and the kebabs of Turkey, Helou explores an exotic culinary world that is centuries old and provides all the essentials to bring the magic into your kitchen.
Contemporary Mediterranean street food still follows the traditions and divisions of the ancient world, says Helou: western (Spain, France, and Italy); eastern, or Levantine (Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel); and southern (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco). The western region relies less on street foods but still honors the tradition of food delivered quickly, whether at caf&eactue;s, tapas bars, or panini bars. Turn to the eastern and southern regions, however, and you will find a vibrant street food scene, with Turkey and Morocco in the forefront.
The chapters in Mediterranean Street Food are divided by type of food or main ingredient: soups; snacks, salads, dips; pizza and breads; barbecues; one-pot meals, sweets; and drinks. In addition to the standard street fare (grilled meats and hummous dip), Helou introduces us to the exotic: fried bread from North Africa, chickpea snacks from Genoa, and clotted cream fritters from Lebanon. All recipes have been adapted for American kitchens. For armchair or would-be travelers, there are wonderful photos and stories, as well as some tips on hygiene (bring your own cutlery!). (Ginger Curwen)