Mediterranean, the Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Mediterranean Lands

Ayla Esen Algar, Author, Joyce Eserky Goldstein, Photographer, Joyce Eserky Goldstein, Author Collins Publishers San Francisco $50 (256p) ISBN 978-0-00-255370-4
Recipe collection, travelogue, history lesson and art book, the 13th of the publisher's Beautiful Cookbooks may be the most ambitious, and is surely among the most accomplished of the series. IACP and James Beard Foundation Award-winner Goldstein (Back to Square One; Festive Occasions) has exercised masterful selection skills to balance this sampling of 250 recipes from a region that supports a wealth of culinary traditions, including southern Italian, Provencal France and coastal Spain; Turkey, the Middle East and northern Africa; Greece and the Balkans. Food scholar Ayla Aygar's comprehensive essay on the culinary and geo-political history of the Mediterranean region introduces the seven chapters, which are organized around courses and types of dishes, and feature recipes from each culinary tradition. Interspersed among chapters are shorter essays discussing the culinary heritage of each region. The recipes, which generally suggest variations found in other countries (and are an etymologist's delight), are uncomplicated, gracefully written, accessible to the American home cook and highlight the area's abundance of vegetables and fish. Of particular note are the chapters on soups and fish, ranging from the simplicity of Turkish grilled swordfish to Sicilian stuffed squid, and including four variations on a Moroccan fish marinade. With 250 photographs, this volume is also a feast for the eye. Author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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