Explore the Flavors of the Islamic World

Feast: Food of the Islamic World
by Anissa Helou
(Ecco, 2018)
Anissa Helou has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, and she has written several cookbooks on cuisine from the area. Her latest effort, more than 500 pages, is perhaps the most extensive yet. It features breads, rice dishes, meats, fish, spices, and sweets from Arab, Persian, Mughal (South Asian), and North African cooking traditions. Helou’s easy-to-follow recipes for everything from street fare to celebratory feast meals are labeled with country of origin and include helpful headnotes. One of my favorites is the Date Ice Cream. Flavored with rose water and cardamom, with an added crunch of coarsely ground pistachios, it’s made from Barhi dates. In season this time of year, these dates have a warm, sweet taste, like caramel or butterscotch, and can be found in Berkeley at Monterey Market. Visit your local Middle Eastern market for ingredients like dried limes, tahini, slivered pistachios, sumac, rose water, orange flower water, and a full array of spices. Photographs are lovely and helpful for knowing how to present the finished dishes.

Meet author Anissa Helou in conversation with Lisa Morehouse.
Friday October 26, 7pm
East Bay Booksellers
5433 College Ave, Oakland
Info: here

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.