TASTE OF PERSIA: Holiday Book List
December 20, 2016
Known for their exquisite cuisine and literary tradition, Persia -- comprised of people from Iraq and Afghanistan--come to life through the pages of "Taste of Persia" by Naomi Duguid. A James Beard Award-winning culinary anthropologist and photographer, issues over 125 recipes accented by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Krudistan.
The introduction delivers an overview of the Persian geographic bowl along with traditional spices and rituals.Although there are plenty of meat, chicken and fish dishes, any vegetarian would be happy to indulge in this richly photographed book.
Pulling many of the recipes directly from the cooks, the ingredients are primarily dictated in ounces and common sense. Little is left out helping the reader move easily from one step to the next. Unexceptional tools are used like the backs of spoons, sieves, and she always describes the type of plate--whether it's a bowl, large platter, thin rimmed plate, or saucer.
A Persan Pebble Bread is rich in sesame seed and mixed flours is stretched like a sheet dented by fingertips and snipped. Requires a large table or bare, protected floor.
Tastes of the mideast abound in recipes like "Rose Water Pudding, "Pomegranate Molasses," "Emmer Mushroom Pilar" (this recipes abounds in mushrooms, emmer wheat berries, broth, fragrant tarragon and option chopped meats topped by yogurt. Topping cooked rice and grain dishes with a thick, plain yogurt is quite common in the mideast.
In the soup section, Purslane Soup mixes lentils and that twisty green weeds found in one's garden with the traditional tumeric and cumin. Again, this cuisine combines dried fruits like apricots with beans and meats.It's not uncommon to find a dish that tosses in potatoes, beans and wheat berries or grains.
As you peruse the book, pictures of the cities and markets meet the recipes adding a sense of time, place and people.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis