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.

2 comments:

My Marrakech said...

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

Sarah said...

You are welcome. :)