Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine

Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine

by Nawal Nasrallah
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Overview

Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine by Nawal Nasrallah

Chosen by Saveur magazine as one of the best ten cookbooks of 2013 Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for the UK in the Best Arab Cuisine Book category"[Delights from the Garden of Eden] is truly a journey; you'll learn about table manners, dining protocol, how the etymology of Arabic food words can be traced back to their earlier roots, the culinary riches and ingenious recipes of medieval Iraqi cooks, and how ancient Mesopotamian customs can be traced to the present. It is a labor of love that illuminates the deep connections between food and culture, past and present, and above all, shows us how much we have in common. Highly recommended; this should be in every cookbook collection if you are interested in Middle Eastern cuisine! If you already own the original first edition, it is WELL worth purchasing the updated and revised second edition." S. HODGE, Amazon.com, July 2013 "A culinary odyssey through 8,000 years of Mesopotamian culture and some of the world's oldest recipes, preserved on 3,700-year old cuneiform tablets." RALPH BLUMENTHAL, The New York Times Originally self-published in 2003, Delights from the Garden of Eden became an underground bestseller and award-winner. Now fully revised and updated, this new edition, luxuriously illustrated throughout with colour photos, paintings, medieval miniatures and sketches, displays the diversity of the region's traditional culinary practices, delicious and enduring. The book contains more than 400 recipes, all tested and easy to follow, and covers all food categories with ample choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers, and many that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained. Unlike the majority of cookbooks, the book uniquely traces the genesis and development of the Iraqi cuisine over the centuries, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians, through medieval times and leading to the present, aided throughout by the author's intimate native knowledge of cookery. Of particular interest are the book's numerous food-related folkloric stories, reminiscences, anecdotes, songs, poems, excerpts from narratives written by foreign visitors to the region, and cultural explications of customs, all interwoven with the recipes. The book is supplemented with detailed menus and an extended glossary to familiarize the reader with the indigenous ingredients used in creating authentic Iraqi meals. The book is a valuable addition to the shelves of specialized and general libraries and a must-have for food lovers everywhere. More Reviews of the First Edition: "Humorous, insightful and a pleasure to read. Nawal Nasrallah blends recipes, culinary history, folklore, personal stories and art in a lively mix. Her recipes are precise and easy to follow, with tips and observations derived from her long experience with Iraqi cuisine. Highly recommended." PAULA WOLFERT, author of the award-winning Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean "This cookbook is more than an introduction to Iraqi cuisine. It is in fact an introduction to Arab cooking in general, researched with the kind of depth not seen before in a cookbook of the Arab world and Middle East. " CLIFFORD A. WRIGHT, winner of the James Beard/KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year and the James Beard Award for Best Writing on Food for A Mediterranean Feast "A monument to energy, knowledge and enthusiasm. It is an account of origins and development as well as of the complex ethnic make-up of present-day Iraq." TOM JAINE, Petits Propos Culinaires "A project of meticulous and thorough research. Not only Iraqis will be proud of Nawal's achievement in presenting information, known in the main only to specialized Assyriologists and anthropologists, in such an accessible and easy-to-read volume." MARGARET OBANK, Banipal "There are over 400 recipes, and the ones I have tried are wonderful. But although the recipes are in a way the main point of a cookbook, in another way they are here a mere vehicle for the stories, the food lore, the proverbs, the poetry, the word play and the sociological tidbits that Nasrallah has to share." CHRISTINE BARBOUR, Herald Times, Bloomington, Indiana

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845534578
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Pages: 574
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Nawal Nasrallah, a native of Iraq, is an award-winning researcher and food writer. Her English translation of Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh, entitled Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens was awarded "Best Translation" in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2007. Her recipes have featured in many magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Food and Wine. Her most recent book is Dates: A Global History (Reaktion, 2011).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Iraqi Food in Perspective Chapter One: Breads Chapter Two: Dairy Products Chapter Three: Vegetarian Appetizers and Salads Chapter Four: Soups Chapter Five: Snacks, Sandwiches, and Side Dishes (with Meat) Chapter Six: Snacks, Sandwiches, and Side Dishes (Vegetarian) Chapter Seven: Stews Chapter Eight: Rice Chapter Nine: Other Grains and Beans Chapter Ten: Lamb and Beef Chapter Eleven: Stuffed Foods Chapter Twelve: Poultry Chapter Thirteen: Fish Chapter Fourteen: Savory Pastries Chapter Fifteen: Desserts: Puddings and Ice Creams Chapter Sixteen: Desserts with Syrup Chapter Seventeen: Cakes and Confections Chapter Eighteen: Cookies/Biscuits and Sweet Pastries Chapter Nineteen: Jams and Pickles Chapter Twenty: Beverages Menus and Manners Glossary

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Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Veggiechiliqueen More than 1 year ago
May you enjoy your food in a thousand healths! I was overjoyed to finally receive my copy of the beautiful second of Delights from the Garden of Eden. This new edition, which has been several years in the making, features over 300 color photos, the historical and cultural material got a considerable make-over and updates, and measurements are now listed in metric as well as Imperial so readers worldwide can savor the joys of Iraqi cuisine. This beautiful tome is part textbook, part cookbook and covers Iraqi cuisine from the Mesopotamian diet to early Babylonian recipes, cookbooks of the Abbasid Era, and modern interpretations, lavishly illustrated throughout with a combination of calligraphy, manuscripts, photographs, and sketches and paintings by modern Iraqi artists that illustrate every aspect of Iraqi food and its preparation.The first 70+ pages are devoted to illuminating the ancient foodways from which modern Iraqi cuisine descends. In each chapter, there are poems, quotes, and street vendor songs reflecting the importance of various staples in everyday life. I was particularly interested in the chapters on savory pastries and desserts, and tried making the olive and cheese bread (pita), apricot balls and lawzeena (almond candy). The olive and cheese bread was a moist, springy dough enriched with yogurt and olive oil and studded with olives, mint, and parsley, making for addictive snacking. The herbs stayed a vibrant green even after being baked into the pita, which makes for a beautiful presentation when sliced into bars as suggested. The apricot balls take only moments to throw together in a food processor, but be sure to use sweetened coconut (snip with kitchen scissors or pulse in the food processor before adding the apricots). As with any international cookbook, you will be making or using many different spice blends, including baharat and za'tar. Recipes for the spice blends are given in the glossary. Some recipes also call for noomi Basra (dried lime), amba (pickled mango), and tamarind. There is a very thorough list of scholarly works cited, and not one but several indices as well as a name and subject index. The book itself is very high quality, with heavy matte paper, beautiful photography, and a teal blue ribbon to hold your place. At well over 500 pages, it is a large volume, but lays flat neatly, making it easy to cook from any section. You'll also find a wide variety of sample menus for various occasions, including seasonal menus (among them an Iftar menu for Ramadan), ladies' tea parties, and mezze. "Delights from the Garden of Eden" is truly a journey; you'll learn about table manners, dining protocol, how the etymology of Arabic food words can be traced back to their earlier roots, the culinary riches and ingenious recipes of medieval Iraqi cooks, and how ancient Mesopotamian customs can be traced to the present. It is a labor of love that illuminates the deep connections between food and culture, past and present, and above all, shows us how much we have in common. Highly recommended; this should be in every cookbook collection if you are interested in Middle Eastern cuisine! If you already own the original first edition, it is WELL worth purchasing the updated and revised second edition.