From the Land of Nightin­gales and Roses: Recipes from the Per­sian Kitchen

Maryam Si­nalee In­ter­link Pub­lish­ing (DE­CEM­BER) Hard­cover $35 (336pp), 978-1-62371-967-8

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Nonfiction - ERIC PAT­TER­SON

From the Land of Nightin­gales and Roses in­tro­duces the cui­sine of the world’s old­est cul­ture. This com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion of au­then­tic Per­sian recipes ranges from rice dishes to stews and desserts and in­cludes recipes for condi­ments and re­fresh­ing drinks, not to men­tion the im­por­tant, ba­sic recipes that ev­ery Per­sian cook should know.

“Be­cause our lives—and our stom­achs—are led by the sea­sons,” the recipes are or­ga­nized into sea­sonal chap­ters—ex­am­in­ing not only Per­sian food, but also Per­sian life. Each be­gins with a short in­tro­duc­tion high­light­ing im­por­tant dates and fes­ti­vals and the foods tra­di­tion­ally eaten dur­ing them. Tra­di­tional names are in­cluded along with English trans­la­tions, and each recipe is headed with a per­sonal note about the dish.

Maryam Si­nalee has made ev­ery ef­fort to make each recipe as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble. Some of the recipes are tra­di­tion­ally made only on fes­tive oc­ca­sions; here, there might be a bit more work in­volved, but even they are not tech­ni­cally dif­fi­cult. The book’s lay­out and pho­to­graphs have a retro feel; they were taken by the au­thor and add an ad­di­tional, au­then­tic layer to the project.

The beauty of this cook­book is its va­ri­ety. It in­cludes dishes taken from the six­teenth cen­tury, like Ran-e Beryan (Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Yo­gurt and Saf­fron) and ones that use in­gre­di­ents not found in west­ern pantries, like kashk, a salty, tangy yo­gurt-like condi­ment. All are op­por­tu­ni­ties to try some­thing new, from tech­niques to in­gre­di­ents.

Maryam Si­nalee’s won­der­ful From the Land of Nightin­gales and Roses is highly rec­om­mended for the cook who wants to get out of their com­fort zone and ex­plore an an­cient cui­sine full of fla­vor, his­tory, and beauty.

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