Taste of Persia, A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan. Naomi Duguid

Taste of Persia, A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan.  Naomi Duguid

Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by [Duguid, Naomi]

Genre:  non-fiction

I adore cookery books, and when they’re combined with real stories about the food in its natural setting, grow locally and eaten how the natives of that country eat it – well, its a wonderful treat.

I loved the recipes, beautifully illustrated and described so as to make me drool….While I’m reading I’m mentally going through my cupboards thinking “do I have that spice? This herb? Shall I try that recipe next time the family are all here?”
The little anecdotes that accompany the recipes are great, made me feel there with Naomi, made me want to shut my eyes and dream, feel the heat and dust, smell the fragrance of a myriad of spices and herbs, hear the babble of voices selling food on the markets.

I love books like this that set food where it should be, don’t take a recipe and present it in isolation. A strawberry picked straight off the plant on a warm summer morning tastes very different to one presented in the sterility of a supermarket. They’re both strawberries but we taste with our eyes and ears, use our senses to feels what’s around us, and that creates something more than just “taste” to me.

I’m an artist and when I see a painting I like I love to try to see who it was constructed, know the story behind the inspiration – that adds to my enjoyment as much as seeing the work does.In the same way when its food I want to think of where a recipe originated and how, why that cheese was used, why this spice was chosen to add flavour. Its how a recipe is built up what is so fascinating to me, and when we know the stories of the locals, know what food grows best where, and can see how those recipes developed over time that makes me best appreciate them. Sometimes its a simple as the UK tradition of roasts, casseroles, long slow cooking which developed over centuries where we were a heavily wooded isle so fuel was plentiful, and food could be left simmering all day while other tasks completed, but in countries where fuel was scarce, cutting food into small pieces or shreds and then quickly stir frying became the norm.
Then of course there are the things that grow best in each place, and the lack of refrigeration that led to highly spiced foods and curries developing in some countries, possibly to help disguise some flavours and to add an element of preservation. Herbs and spices can do so much more than just add flavour.

Food isn’t just fuel, but a time for people to gather and share experiences, and that comes over so strongly here and makes this book not only a visual feast but a whole learning experience too.

Stars: Five, a fabulous read, a cook book that appeals to the brain as well as the taste-buds.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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