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Book: Delights from the Garden of Eden

Chapter: Preface

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.33871


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.

Chapter Contributors

  • Nawal Nasrallah ( - book-auth-449)