|Reviews of The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean|
|This Book was reviewed
by: Publisher's Weekly; Library Journal;
Richard Flaste - The New York Times Book Review; and the Readers Catalog.
From Publisher's Weekly:
Food fads may come and go, but meanwhile Wolfert ( Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco ) runs off to some little-documented area of the world and puts it on the (American) culinary map. One of the first food writers to recognize the importance of Mediterranean cuisines, she turns now to the Eastern Mediterranean. Encompassing portions of the Balkans, Turkey, Syria and Greece, the diet of the region depends on grains, legumes, vegetables and nuts, while avoiding meat or using it in small portions. True, this style of cooking is ideal for Americans obsessed with the Food Pyramid dietary guidelines, but Wolfert does not belabor the point. Not only does she offer wholesome recipes easily adaptable to American homes, but she also includes some of the more unusual preparations. A Macedonian nettle and cheese pie is so delicious, she claims, that Wolfert began growing the prickly greens herself. The traditional meaty kibbeh, usually a lump of ground lamb, she reinterprets as a pumpkin kibbeh, stuffed with spinach, chick peas and walnuts. Voices from native cooks, visited over a span of five years, add color, humor and realism to the melting pots of Macedonia, Turkey, the Levant and the Republic of Georgia. Wolfert is careful to add acknowledgements and extra tidbits of advice to help preparations go smoothly. Moreover, the general tone of the book is cheerful and encouraging. No matter how stinging the nettles, one is tempted to grab them firmly, rub them with kosher salt to remove the stings and blanch them for a pie. (June)
From Library Journal:
Wolfert is widely recognized as an authority on Mediterranean cuisines; her Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco (1973) is a classic, and her more recent Paula Wolfert's World of Food (10/15/88) offers a cook's tour of the region. Here, however, she focuses on four lesser-known areas: Macedonia and northern Greece, Turkey, the Republic of Georgia, and the countries of the Levant, particularly Syria. Wolfert spent five years traveling throughout these diverse regions to write this book, visiting dozens of home cooks in their kitchens and tracking down obscure recipes and culinary traditions. As always, the book is impressively researched and beautifully written. The recipes are intriguing and painstakingly detailed, among them Macedonian Nettle and Cheese Pie, Three Caucasian Soups, and Gaziantep-Style Chopped Salad. Several recent titles have touched upon some of these areas, but Wolfert's is unique. An essential purchase. [BOMC HomeStyle main selection.]
From Richard Flaste - The New York Times Book Review:
Bulgur, pine nuts, eggplant and lentils show up throughout the book, frequently combined in dazzling ways, as in the hot bulgur and lentil pilaf with caramelized onions meant to be served with a glass of cold yogurt. To her immense credit, Ms. Wolfert, who has written so well about the food of Morocco and southwestern France, has taken cuisines and dishes that, in the Western kitchen at least, would ordinarily seem remote and unapproachable and presented them so amiably that her book becomes vastly more than the mere curiosity it might otherwise have been.
From The Reader's Catalog:
"Wolfert...is blessed with a passion for food, an unerring eye
and palate and an enviable ability to transport her reader to the ends
of the earth"
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