Thursday, January 11, 2007

Arabesque: My Long Delayed Review

I truly enjoyed reading Arabesque. The cookbook covers the cuisines of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon, with an introduction and overview of each country's culinary traditions. While I am most familiar with Turkish cuisine, I noticed distinctive overlaps in both ingredients and even food names, especially between Turkey and Lebanon.

All of the Turkish recipes that I would hope to see were included, except for my favorite lentil soup. I was especially pleased to see a recipe for cigarette borek (filo dough filled with cheese and Italian parsley, rolled into a long, thin tube, and fried). I was also interested to find a recipe for veiled rice with chicken. It's a rice dish baked in a puff-pastry shell and it's delicious. These are both dishes that are hard to prepare and therefor often passed over in Turkish cookbooks.

I haven't delved as deeply into the Lebanese and Moroccan recipes as I would like to. To be honest, I am a terribly slow reader and I started in the Turkish section. From what I have read, the recipes are thorough and easy to follow. In the past, I have run into problems with the preparation instructions of my Turkish cookbooks, likely due to translation issues.

I would recommend this book for an adventurous chef or a food junkie. Even if you don't plan to prepare these recipes, the history of the cuisines and the photos are worth the read.


My Marrakech said...

Thanks so much for the review. and I must, must get this book!

Sarah said...

You are welcome. :)