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A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East

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This pioneering book considers the culinary cultures of the Middle East in a variety of contexts. The contributors discuss various aspects of historical and contemporary processes, including likely origins and diffusions on ingredients and dishes, changes in food production and eating habits, contemporary revivals of traditional cooking, literary representations of food an This pioneering book considers the culinary cultures of the Middle East in a variety of contexts. The contributors discuss various aspects of historical and contemporary processes, including likely origins and diffusions on ingredients and dishes, changes in food production and eating habits, contemporary revivals of traditional cooking, literary representations of food and drink, and the class, gender, and communal dimensions to food. Written by scholars from different disciplines, it covers a wide geographical area, from Central Asia to Morocco.


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This pioneering book considers the culinary cultures of the Middle East in a variety of contexts. The contributors discuss various aspects of historical and contemporary processes, including likely origins and diffusions on ingredients and dishes, changes in food production and eating habits, contemporary revivals of traditional cooking, literary representations of food an This pioneering book considers the culinary cultures of the Middle East in a variety of contexts. The contributors discuss various aspects of historical and contemporary processes, including likely origins and diffusions on ingredients and dishes, changes in food production and eating habits, contemporary revivals of traditional cooking, literary representations of food and drink, and the class, gender, and communal dimensions to food. Written by scholars from different disciplines, it covers a wide geographical area, from Central Asia to Morocco.

30 review for A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    It's quite difficult to review a book which is a collection of essays by different scholars, particularly as everything else I have reviewed has tended to be fiction - it's definately either a 3 or a 4 - I can't decide. Broadly this is is a fascinating study of food cultures in the middle east, the first 3/4's of the book are brilliant, the last quarter was very dull (to do with how the articles are categorized). The best pieces are written by scholars whom love food (descriptions of Persian ric It's quite difficult to review a book which is a collection of essays by different scholars, particularly as everything else I have reviewed has tended to be fiction - it's definately either a 3 or a 4 - I can't decide. Broadly this is is a fascinating study of food cultures in the middle east, the first 3/4's of the book are brilliant, the last quarter was very dull (to do with how the articles are categorized). The best pieces are written by scholars whom love food (descriptions of Persian rice being washed over 3 days and then how it is prepared and displayed over a feast spring to mind)... Also some fascinating facts - for instance the turkey, a South American bird is called the turkey because the Ottoman empire was the first to trade it (thus people thought it came from Turkey rather than south America).... food lovers absolutely must read this if they have any interest at all in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aisha Alhashmi

    الكتاب زاخر جداً بمقالات عن الطعام في الشرق الاوسط وعلاقته الجيوغرافية والاجتماعيه والدينية والسياسة قرأت ماهو افضل عنه في الاسلوب حيث ان اسلوب هذا الكتاب فيه نوع من الرسمية والجديه ومفيد للبحوث والدراسات

  3. 4 out of 5

    MOHAMMED A

    كتاب جميل وممتع ومليء بالمعلومات الجميلة

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Some interesting chapters, others to skip through. This is not a book that is necessary to read cover to cover and I am through with it. I'm glad I have it and am sure I'll refer to it. It has a good bibliography and some interesting new food information tidbits. The chapter on the eastern side, "From the Caucasus to the Roof of the World" talks about Iranian cuisine and how and why it differs from middle eastern areas to the west of it. A discussion of the rice versus wheat culture also occurs Some interesting chapters, others to skip through. This is not a book that is necessary to read cover to cover and I am through with it. I'm glad I have it and am sure I'll refer to it. It has a good bibliography and some interesting new food information tidbits. The chapter on the eastern side, "From the Caucasus to the Roof of the World" talks about Iranian cuisine and how and why it differs from middle eastern areas to the west of it. A discussion of the rice versus wheat culture also occurs in this chapter. Environmental aspects of food production is discussed in "Food Production in the Middle East" and includes the issue of water in agriculture in Jordan. The chapter "You Are What You Cook: Cuisine and Class in Mecca" brings up the idea of a totally Muslim but cosmopolitan city and it's food culture. Definitely interesting, maybe dated (nonfiction written in the 1990s), but worth having on the shelf. The more I think of it, the more I think it deserves four stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amal

    This is an excellent book for anybody who is interested in the culinary history, edicates, and foods native to the middle east, North Africa and central Asia. this is a wealth of information that will be read by all culinarians and people who are interested in the subject. the book covers information on the origins of dishes like chicken pilaf, sambusak, ful medammas and ect. I highly recommend this book for students of culinary cultures and heritages.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    How often does one read the proceedings of an academic conference and feel a little peckish? Also pricks some 'world food' stereotypes: the truth about olive oil (nah, not so important), the origins of baklava (not Greece and not Turkey). And there really is a "Mediterranean cuisine" (take that, Gaspar). Anyone up for a gastronomic tour, say from Istanbul to Isfahan by way of Cairo? How often does one read the proceedings of an academic conference and feel a little peckish? Also pricks some 'world food' stereotypes: the truth about olive oil (nah, not so important), the origins of baklava (not Greece and not Turkey). And there really is a "Mediterranean cuisine" (take that, Gaspar). Anyone up for a gastronomic tour, say from Istanbul to Isfahan by way of Cairo?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eva Bird

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ferruccio

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tugsan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Defne Koryürek

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marit

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cherise

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amonem

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abrar Yasser

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elena

  17. 5 out of 5

    Willie Ha

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mehmet Aytekin

  19. 4 out of 5

    imngrer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  22. 4 out of 5

    Osman Güldemir

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pishowi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    Lots of articles just the right size. One can read about the history of layered bread, the types of rice eaten, and who eats what when.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aysegul Cetiner

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kingsborough Library

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amna A.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Honey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Maslovskaya

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