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Delights from the Garden of Eden

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A Saveur Magazine choice for their ‘top ten’ best cookbooks in 2013
Best Book on Arab Cuisine in the UK, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2014

This is a concise version of the award-winning and highly acclaimed second edition published in 2013. It is luxuriously illustrated throughout with colour photos, paintings, medieval miniatures and sketches and displays the diversity of the region’s traditional culinary practices, delicious and enduring. This edition book contains 300 of the original 400 recipes, all tested and easy to follow, and covers all food categories with ample choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers, and many that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained.

Unlike the majority of cookbooks, the book uniquely traces the genesis and development of the Iraqi cuisine over the centuries, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians, through medieval times and leading to the present, aided throughout by the author’s intimate native knowledge of cookery. Of particular interest are the book’s numerous food-related folkloric stories, reminiscences, anecdotes, songs, poems, excerpts from narratives written by foreign visitors to the region, and cultural explications of customs, all interwoven with the recipes. The book is supplemented with detailed menus and an extended glossary to familiarize the reader with the indigenous ingredients used in creating authentic Iraqi meals.

The book is a valuable addition to the shelves of specialized and general libraries and a must-have for food lovers everywhere.

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Preface Nawal Nasrallah
List of By-ways and Asides Nawal Nasrallah
Measurements, Equipment and Ingredients Nawal Nasrallah
Introduction - Iraqi Food in Perspective
That Little Street in Baghdad Nawal Nasrallah
Part One: Back to the Roots Nawal Nasrallah
Part Two: Medieval Baghdadi Cooking Nawal Nasrallah
Part Three: The Post-medieval Era Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter One
Bread Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Two
Dairy Products Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Three
Vegetarian Appetizers, Side Dishes and Salads Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Four
Snacks and Street Food Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Five
Soups Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Six
Stews Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Seven
Rice, and other Grains and Beans Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Eight
Lamb and Beef, and Ground Meat dishes Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Nine
Stuffed Foods Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Ten
Poultry Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Eleven
Fish Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Twelve
Savory Pastries Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Thirteen
Desserts Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Fourteen
Jams, and Syrups for Sherbets Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Fifteen
Pickles and Sauces Nawal Nasrallah
Chapter Sixteen
Beverages Nawal Nasrallah
End Matter
Glossary Nawal Nasrallah
Works Cited Nawal Nasrallah
Indexes Nawal Nasrallah
Illustration Credits Nawal Nasrallah


Reviews of the Second Edition:

A fine introduction to the history and diversity of Iraqi cuisine. Lavishly illustrated, supremely informative, and deeply personal, Nasrallah’s publication is far more than an average cookbook or culinary history; instead, it’s an adventurous exploration of Iraq’s colorful past through food history.
Ancient History Encyclopedia

The book, its illustrations, photographs and design, is generous and thoughtful and guides your historical journey through Ms. Nasrallah's personal lens.
Huffington Post

Offers an excellent history of food in the Middle East. ...At the other end, the book's extensive glossary and references make this a useful resource. ...An additional note to please cooks is that the book sits flat on every page... .A splendid achievement, Delights from the Garden of Eden is obviously a labour of love, and the author has done readers, cooks and non-cooks alike, a great service in producing such an impressive book. Each page shows erudition; every recipe a passion for food.
Times Literary Supplement

Already respected among food historians for her translation of the 10th-century Baghdadi cookbook Annals of the Caliph's Kitchen, Nasrallah is sure to gain more acclaim with this significant contribution to the culinary history of the Middle East.

If you've ever had even a shred of interest in the cuisine from this part of the world, I recommend taking a look at this book. For curious and adventurous cooks, it has enough to inspire our meals for years to come.

Fascinating, thorough and delicious.

Ms. Nasrallah has done for Iraqi cuisine what Julia Child did for French cooking, but to the nth degree. There are over 400 recipes to be explored, hundreds of beautiful images, and text so meticulous and thoughtful, it could have only been written by someone with incredible knowledge and passion. Immerse yourself with endless plates full of delicious food and stories of a land and its people so rich with history it will astound you. A delight indeed.
The Kitchen Journals