Turkey

Leanne Kitchen, Author
Leanne Kitchen. Chronicle, $35 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0770-7
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In her introduction to this collection of more than 100 recipes, Kitchen, an Australian food and travel writer/photographer, concisely describes Turkey’s diverse cuisine. The country finds inspiration in the eight countries that border it, nations as diverse as Greece and Iraq. And within Turkey there are seven separate regions, each with its own culinary variations. But she also confesses that her travels “were fairly random and this is reflected in the recipe content of this book.” Thus, those seeking an organized and comprehensive study might be disappointed. Happier will be those who enjoy a travelogue approach filled with color photos of Turks, foods, and countryside, and augmented with cheery accounts of discovery. Among the book’s eight chapters (organized by ingredient rather than locale) are a section devoted to rice and bulgur dishes such as mussel, dill, and currant pilaf, and a section on meze, which are Turkish appetizers such as warm squash hummus, or octopus with potatoes, olives, and orange-paprika vinaigrette. Soups, breads, vegetables, seafood, and meats are all explored. And for dessert, Kitchen sinks her teeth into such Turkish delights as coffee custard with halva pastries, apple compote with toasted sesame ice cream, and pomegranate gel with a “fairy floss” of cotton candy. (Oct.)
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