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Mezze: Delicious Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek Recipes

Overview

Mezze, the myriad dishes of the splendid hors d’oeuvres to traditional Arab meals, comes from the Italian word mezzano, meaning middle. Coined by the Genoese spice traders, it was absorbed into the Greek, Turkish and Arabic languages in different forms, and reflects the multicultural origins of this exciting cuisine. Throughout history, successive empires have brought waves of culinary influence to the kitchen tables of the Near East. As Alexander the Great pushed his empire to India, as the Romans marched across...
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Overview

Mezze, the myriad dishes of the splendid hors d’oeuvres to traditional Arab meals, comes from the Italian word mezzano, meaning middle. Coined by the Genoese spice traders, it was absorbed into the Greek, Turkish and Arabic languages in different forms, and reflects the multicultural origins of this exciting cuisine. Throughout history, successive empires have brought waves of culinary influence to the kitchen tables of the Near East. As Alexander the Great pushed his empire to India, as the Romans marched across Arabia and the Sassanid kings held sway in Persia, so too did foods, recipes and ideas move from country to country, culminating in the legendary court banquets of the Caliphs of Baghdad. Frankincense and pearls were traded for spices on the Silk Route, the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and the French colonised the Levant – adding further layers to the heady mix of this cosmopolitan blend. Combining Indian spices with Mediterranean ingredients, the result is an exceptionally tasty and varied repertoire of dishes which are easy to make from readily available ingredients.

Rosamond Man has selected the best recipes from across the region, and each chapter takes both the imagination and the tastebuds on a journey around these countries. The chapter on fish includes kalamari in Greece, mussels in Istanbul, trout from the river Tigris and sardines in Tunisia. Salads based on spinach, beans or mushrooms, complemented with the flavours of oranges, olives or peppers, will give new inspiration to health-food lovers. Stuffed vine-leaves and pastries, breads flavoured with cheese or olives, and dips for pitta or sesame bread will give fresh ideas for light lunches, accompaniments and snacks or finger-food. Meat and poultry dishes with rice or pulses make filling meals in their own right, and vegetable dishes complete the full range of dishes which any Western cook would want.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mezze: Delicious Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek Recipes" is a fabulous cook's collection of superbly presented culinary recipes for beloved Middle Eastern delicacies with Western (metric and traditional) measurements quoted for each recipe. In addition to delicious recipes and beautiful color photo illustrations of the food, there are wonderful stories, personal anecdotes, and memories of the experiences of the author tasting the foods, as well as inspiring quotations of rapturous musings about epicurean delights by famous Middle Eastern writers and wise men. "Mezze" is divided into 12 main chapters on nibbles, dips & sauces, stuffed pastries and leaves, fish, eggs, meat, chicken & poultry, vegetables, salads, rice and pulses, breads, drinks, and a glossary plus an introductory note about quantities and cooking times. "Mezze" is a timeless cookbook in many senses. Its recipes transcend years, cultures, continents, and histories; but also in order to fully experience the many styles of Middle Eastern cooking represented by the many recipes, the cook must approach time and cooking and preparation times in a somewhat flexible and different way. The author states early in the first chapter, "The one aspect common to all Middle Eastern recipes is their vagueness (p. 11)." This leads to new explorations by the creative and inventive cook. Incredible taste treats await the adventurous chef, from Stuffed Vine Leaves (hot), Greek Spinach and Cheese Pies, to Meatballs with Pine Nuts and Tomatoes, to Potato and Tomato Egg Pie, or Yogurt Cheese in Oil, or Broad Bean Patties (described as almost the national dish of Egypt), and of course, Rice with Lentils, Chick Peas with Spinach, Olive and Cheese Bread, and Chicken with Prunes, Honey, and Almonds. There is even a recipe for Grilled Quail, Stuffed Aubergines, Cucumber and Yogurt Salad, and Turkish Coffee. Recipes are presented in paragraph format, with ingredients and measurements listed first. A helpful Glossary of spices and staples makes many exotic ingredients clearer and more accessible. "Mezze" is a salute to the cuisines of the major Middle Eastern cultures, Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Egyptian, and more, paying homage to the author's love of foods she enjoyed while growing up in the Middle East as the child of a diplomat. "Mezze" is thus both a tribute and a legacy of sharing of the inviting cuisines of many Middle Eastern countries and cultures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859640494
  • Publisher: Garnet Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

ROSAMOND MAN is the author of numerous cookery books including Barbeque and Summer Cookery, Cooking With Fish and The Compleat Mustard. Her childhood in the Middle East as the daughter of a diplomat provides the foundation for this collection of recipes, published here in a revised and expanded edition. She now lives in Sri Lanka and is currently working on a book of the regional food of that country.
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