Yasmin Khan on Claudia Roden
Arabesque is the first of Claudia Roden’s books I bought, and the one I cook from the most. It has dogeared corners where I’ve marked recipes and the pages are stained. It covers the food of Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey: countries with different culinary traditions but threads of commonality. Roden sheds light on the distinct richness of each place. She meets people, asks about their favourite recipe, and the conversation segues into who they are, their parents, their grandparents ... Food is the starting point, a lens through which to see the world, its history, its places and, crucially, its people.
People talk today about “Middle Eastern food” as though it is one thing. We’d never do that about