The Sweets of Araby: Enchanting Recipes from the Tales of the 1001 Arabian Nights

Overview

From ancient Baghdad, recipes for, and the stories behind, exotic and unusual treats.
Centuries have passed since the time of the The 1001 Arabian Nights, but those classic tales, with their romance, passion, and vibrancy, continue to inspire and ignite imaginations . Within Scheherazade’s brilliant stories for her husband, King Shahryar, we learn of the vibrant life of Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo in the 9th century as well as of certain key ...

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Overview

From ancient Baghdad, recipes for, and the stories behind, exotic and unusual treats.
Centuries have passed since the time of the The 1001 Arabian Nights, but those classic tales, with their romance, passion, and vibrancy, continue to inspire and ignite imaginations . Within Scheherazade’s brilliant stories for her husband, King Shahryar, we learn of the vibrant life of Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo in the 9th century as well as of certain key persons and how they functioned in society.
Food—sweets, specifically—plays an important part in The 1001 Arabian Nights; it is currency, temptation, sustenance. Delicious sweets are the link between that historical work and this modern one. The Sweets of Araby offers us exotic treats and the translated tales they come from. Sisters Leila Salloum Elias and Muna Salloum worked with the ancient Arabic text of The 1001 Arabian Nights to find recipes and translate their stories, literally bringing back to life evocative stories with recipes transformed to suit modern kitchens and tastes. Beautifully illustrated with original paintings by Linda Dalal Sawaya, this delectable treasure belongs in every 21st-century kitchen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When they stumbled upon a thousand-year-old collection of Arabic desserts, Salloum and Salloum Elias (sisters and Middle East and Islamic studies scholars) felt compelled to bring these recipes to twenty-first century tables. It's a terrific hook which informs the book's effective structure: start with a short tale from Scheherazade that mentions a particular dessert, offer the original recipe and the updated version. Most recipes reshuffle a small deck of ingredients: yeast-based dough, chopped almonds and pistachios, rose water, dates, and honey. Those with a love of fried dough will find a litany of applications here, such as: Luqum al-Qadi, a fried ball of dough stuffed with ground almonds and spices; Aqras Mukarrarah, fried patties with a cinnamon and sugar topping; and Barad, fried dough covered in honey and baked. Those with an aversion to baking or working with yeast-based items will appreciate Hays, one of the oldest sweets in the book, which calls for just six ingredients (dates, bread crumbs, sesame oil, confectioner's sugar, ground almonds, and chopped pistachios) mixed together. While cooks who'd prefer to make their own Halwah will certainly appreciate this book, it may be even more compelling for food historians, fellow scholars, and expats. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881509298
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/6/2011
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Leila Salloum Elias is a scholar of Middle East and Islamic Studies. She teaches modern Arabic language and Middle East history at Penn State University and Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, respectively.

Muna Salloum holds an advanced degree in Middle East and Islamic Studies. She is the administrative manager of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.

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