When I heard the title of this book I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to read more. It is a title that just demands to be read and I have to say it did not disappoint. The book is a recipe book that has a collection of dishes from the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. As well as being a recipe book it is also a journey which describes a passion and love for spices behind these dishes. It is a book that can be read at bedtime as well as used to create gorgeous food. It is the perfect book to banish winter blues and take you onto an exotic exciting adventure to discover new tastes and flavours. The descriptive writing really makes you taste the dishes and you are enthused to try them out.
The book is divided into ten chapters and an Introduction. The chapters all deal with different ingredients and have wonderful exotic sounding names like “The Spice Trail”, which covers cardamom, chilli, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, coriander, pimeton and saffron or “Fruits of Longing” which covers figs, quinces, pomegranates and dates. Each chapter has an introduction to the types of food within it and then you launch into the recipes.
The recipes are easy to follow, set out with a list of ingredients and the method, but also a little introduction to the dish with hints for cooking it. You will often find a quote relevant to the ingredients being used on the page as well which all helps to make the dish become more real. The photos are gorgeous as well and show you how the dish should appear when it is finished.
The dishes have lovely names, like Moroccan Chicken with Tomatoes and Saffron-Honey Jam, Lavender, Orange and Almond Cake, Lemon and Basil Ice Cream and of course the Crazy Water and Pickled Lemons of the title.
I had to try out a recipe from this book and I was hard pressed to choose which one to try first. I decided to try Moroccan Chicken with Tomatoes and Saffron-Honey Jam as it looked really nice in the picture. I was a bit unsure how it would turn out as it was my first attempt at a recipe like this and I was worried that it might have been a bit too spicy. I have to say I was really pleased, my attempt did no look quite like the picture in the recipe book but it did look good.
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