Synopses & Reviews
One hundred sculpted sugar lions, baklava the size of cartwheels a thousand layers thick, helva made in memory of the dead, rose jam in a hundred pots of Dresden china, violet sherbet for the sultan, and parrots addicted to sugar . . . the stories behind Turkey's huge variety of sweets and puddings, valued not only for their taste but as symbols of happiness, good fortune, and goodwill, are as fascinating as their flavor. This riveting exploration of their history and role in Turkish culture is a voyage of adventure, taking us from the sultan's palace to the homes of ordinary people in Turkey's villages and towns, and beyond to Central Asia, Persia, Arabia, and Egypt.
Mary Isin has penned a masterpiece in its field. This is a dizzying book that carries us into daily life, social life, and the world of customs and traditions."--Selim Ileri, Zaman
"The Turks have been famous for their sweet tooth since the days when so many confectioners worked at the Topkapi Palace that they had their own mosque. Sweets permeate Turkish life. Mary Isin has gathered a mountain of information on this rich subject--recipes from the Middle Ages to the present, science, history, and folkways. Its a sweet read."--Charles Perry, food historian. "A fascinating and informative exploration of the role of sweetness in Turkish culture over the centuries."--Laura Mason, food historian and author of Sugar-plums and Sherbet
About the Author
Mary Isin has lived in Turkey since 1973. She has translated over 150 books on Turkish history, culture, and archaeology, and in 1983 she started researching Ottoman cuisine and learned Ottoman Turkish so as to be able to read old cookbooks. She is the author of The Turkish Kitchen and a forthcoming encyclopedic dictionary of Ottoman cuisine.