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A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean, from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Coby Clifford Wright
Synopses & Reviews
A groundbreaking culinary work of extraordinary depth and scope that spans more than one thousand years of history, A Mediterranean Feast tells the sweeping story of the birth of the venerated and diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean. Author Clifford A. Wright weaves together historical and culinary strands from Moorish Spain to North Africa, from coastal France to the Balearic Islands, from Sicily and the kingdoms of Italy to Greece, the Balkan coast, Turkey, and the Near East.
The evolution of these cuisines is not simply the story of farming, herding, and fishing; rather, the story encompasses wars and plagues, political intrigue and pirates, the Silk Road and the discovery of the New World, the rise of capitalism and the birth of city-states, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, and the obsession with spices. The ebb and flow of empires, the movement of populations from country to city, and religion have all played a determining role in making each of these cuisines unique.
In A Mediterranean Feast, Wright also shows how the cuisines of the Mediterranean have been indelibly stamped with the uncompromising geography and climate of the area and a past marked by both unrelenting poverty and outrageous wealth. The book's more than five hundred contemporary recipes (which have been adapted for today's kitchen) are the end point of centuries of evolution and show the full range of culinary ingenuity and indulgence, from the peasant kitchen to the merchant pantry. They also illustrate the migration of local culinary predilections, tastes for food and methods of preparation carried from home to new lands and back by conquerors, seafarers, soldiers, merchants, and religious pilgrims.
A Mediterranean Feast includes fourteen original maps of the contemporary and historical Mediterranean, a guide to the Mediterranean pantry, food products resources, a complete bibliography, and a recipe and general index, in addition to a pronunciation key. An astonishing accomplishment of culinary and historical research and detective work in eight languages, A Mediterranean Feast is required--and intriguing--reading for any cook, armchair or otherwise.
Mediterranean Cooking draws on the expertise of The Culinary Institute of America's culinary program to provide home cooks with an accessible and definitive guide to the varied cuisines and vibrant flavors of all of the regions of the Mediterranean. With approximately 200 authentic recipes and 150 full-color photos, this book will be an invaluable addition to any cookbook library.
The perfect cookbook for anyone who loves Mediterranean cuisine
With so many people interested in healthier cooking, the popularity of Mediterranean cuisine—with its focus on light, fresh fare and less meat—is on the rise. This diverse collection of recipes spans the Mediterranean from Southern Europe to North Africa to the Middle East and all points between, offering a comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible guide to the entire region's food.
These recipes are simple enough for home cooks, while still representative of the flavors and cooking techniques that define the Mediterranean approach to cooking. In addition to delicious recipes, the book also includes thorough instruction on stocking a pantry and mastering typically Mediterranean techniques and equipment.
For anyone who wants to eat healthier or explore the classic flavors of Mediterranean cooking, this handsomely produced book offers a reliable and delicious guide to the region.
A sweeping culinary history and cookbook of extraordinary scope, with more than 500 recipes from Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, and the Near East.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 761-787) and indexes.
About the Author
Clifford A. Wwright is a cook, food writer, and research scholar specializing in the cuisines of the Mediterranean. He is the author of six cookbooks and writes frequently for Saveur, Fine Cooking, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine, as well as having written all the food entries for Columbia University's Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East.
Wright is also a nationally recognized cook. He was chosen as one of the most innovative cooks in America by The New York Times in its "Cooks on the Map" series for his style of emphasizing regional Mediterranean home cooking with its historical background. Before writing about food, Wright had a successful career in the field of international affairs, beginning as a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., then as a staff fellow at the Institute of Arab Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and finally as the executive director of the American Middle East Peace Research Institute.
Wright received his master of arts degree in philosophy from the graduate faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York, where he was also a doctoral candidate. Today, while he continues his writing and cooking, Wright is a center affiliate of the Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles. Born in New York, he lived for many years in the Boston area and now resides in Santa Monica, California, with his three children.
Table of Contents
pt. I. An algebra of Mediterranean gastronomy — The historical foundation of Mediterranean gastronomy — Harvest of sorrow, food of dreams — Feast, anti-feast — pt. II. An ecology of Mediterranean gastronomy — "They eat from one bowl": lives in the mountains, meadows, plains, and deserts — Le serenissima, la superba, and the sublime porte — Frutti di Mare — Islands of paradise and isolation — pt. III. A measure of Mediterranean gastronomy — The spice orgy — Grain for princes, grain for dogs — Hard wheat and its famous inventions.
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