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Delights from the Garden of Eden
A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine
First edition awarded the Gourmand World Cookbook Special Jury Award 2007
This edition awarded Best Book on Arab Cuisine in the UK, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, January 2014
Visit Nawal Nasrallah's website and her blog for posts on Iraqi cuisine and culture.
Originally self-published by the author in 2003, Delights from the Garden of Eden became an underground bestseller and award-winner. Now fully revised and updated, this new edition, luxuriously illustrated throughout with colour photos, paintings, medieval miniatures and sketches, displays the diversity of the regionís traditional culinary practices, delicious and enduring. The book contains more than 400 recipes, all tested and easy to follow, and covers all food categories with ample choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers, and many that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained.
Unlike the majority of cookbooks, the book uniquely traces the genesis and development of the Iraqi cuisine over the centuries, starting with the ancient Mesopotamians, through medieval times and leading to the present, aided throughout by the authorís intimate native knowledge of cookery. Of particular interest are the bookís numerous food-related folkloric stories, reminiscences, anecdotes, songs, poems, excerpts from narratives written by foreign visitors to the region, and cultural explications of customs, all interwoven with the recipes. The book is supplemented with detailed menus and an extended glossary to familiarize the reader with the indigenous ingredients used in creating authentic Iraqi meals.
The book is a valuable addition to the shelves of specialized and general libraries and a must-have for food lovers everywhere.
Introduction: Iraqi Food in Perspective
Chapter One: Breads
Chapter Two: Dairy Products
Chapter Three: Vegetarian Appetizers and Salads
Chapter Four: Soups
Chapter Five: Snacks, Sandwiches, and Side Dishes (with Meat)
Chapter Six: Snacks, Sandwiches, and Side Dishes (Vegetarian)
Chapter Seven: Stews
Chapter Eight: Rice
Chapter Nine: Other Grains and Beans
Chapter Ten: Lamb and Beef
Chapter Eleven: Stuffed Foods
Chapter Twelve: Poultry
Chapter Thirteen: Fish
Chapter Fourteen: Savory Pastries
Chapter Fifteen: Desserts: Puddings and Ice Creams
Chapter Sixteen: Desserts with Syrup
Chapter Seventeen: Cakes and confections
Chapter Eighteen: Cookies/Biscuits and Sweet Pastries
Chapter Nineteen: Jams and Pickles
Chapter Twenty: Beverages
Menus and Manners
Click here to hear an interview on the National Public Radio show All Things Considered aired on the 24th of January 2014
Click here to see an article about the book by Laura Brehaut including three recipes
A splendid achievement, Delights from the Garden of Eden is obviously a labour of love, and the author has done readers, cooks and noncooks alike, a great service in producing such an impressive book. Each page shows erudition: every recipe a passion for food.
Times Literary Supplement, November 2013
'Already respected among food historians for her translation of the 10th-century Baghdadi cookbook Annals of the Caliph's Kitchen, Nasrallah is sure to gain more acclaim with this significant contribution to the culinary history of the Middle East.'
Tom Verde, Aramco, 2013
'If you've ever had even a shred of interest in the cuisine from this part of the world, I recommend taking a look at this book. For curious and adventurous cooks, it has enough to inspire our meals for years to come.'
Emma Christensen, TheKitchn.com
'Fascinating, thorough and delicious.'
Vered Guttman, Haaretz.com
'Our Favourite Books on Food from 2013: Nasrallah's authoritative Iraqi cookbook features regional recipes such as allspice sausages, turnips simmered in date syrup, and dill cookies. Asides on history and folklore, as well as 10th-century food poems, add rich cultural context.'
Felicia Campbell, Saveur
'Want to get close to Iraqi food traditions and culture? This cook book is for you.'
Miriam Kresh, Green Prophet