MEDITERRANEAN LIVING BOOK REVIEW
NEW MIDDLE EASTERN STREET FOOD: SNACKS, COMFORT FOOD AND MEZZE FROM SNACKISTAN
At Mediterranean Living, we recognize that there are Middle Eastern countries, some of which don’t border on the Mediterranean, but still share many similar traditions and foods with their Mediterranean neighbors. You will find almost identical dishes across these cultures, for example in dishes like couscous or hummus.
In fact, many countries in the South-Eastern Mediterranean are part of the Middle East. These countries include Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and part of Turkey. Most of this area is also known as The Fertile Crescent, where many Neolithic agricultural products began. With its variation in elevations and climate types, it’s the home of a large variety of animals and plants.
Inspired by our upcoming late summer cooking demonstration on foods of The Fertile Crescent, I thought it fitting that we review a highly recommended new cookbook by Sally Butcher, “New Middle Eastern Street Food.” Sally Butcher has written several well-respected Middle Eastern cookbooks and is the purveyor of Persepolis, A Persian food store in London.
Full of charming, quirky humor and fine treats, we think “New Middle Eastern Food” is an excellent go-to book for creating a mezze spread for family and friends. It contains more than 100 seriously simple yet flavor-packed recipes to choose from. You’ll enjoy the cookbook introduction that shares the origins of street foods and mezze. Themed chapters include Nuts & Nibbles, Fishy Things, Meat on Sticks & Mostly Carbs. The book is peppered throughout with wonderful cultural and historical information. You will, of course, want to try all of the recipes, but you may also feel contented sitting inside on a rainy day, perusing this book and enjoying the beautiful food photography.
Here are some sample irresistible recipes: Lemon roasted almonds with saffron; beets with ginger and garam masala; gulf-style swordfish ceviche; pork and fries gyro, eggplant-wrapped chicken; three pea tagine and iced Turkish delight coffee.