For more than twenty years Naomi Duguid has been an intrepid explorer of world cuisines, co-writing books such as Hot Sour Salty Sweet with Jeffrey Alford, and more recently Burma: Rivers of Flavor on her own. In Taste of Persia she travels those parts of Asia where the culinary influences of the Persian empire are still felt: in addition to Iran, this includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kurdistan in Iraq.
As Duguid notes, the people who live in these places have many different languages, alphabets, and religions, but their cooking is often distinguished by “richly flavored bean dishes, flatbreads of many flavors, generous use of herbs and greens, plenty of cheese and yogurt, walnuts… inventive soups and stews, savory dishes flavored with pomegranate and/or other fruits, and (for all but the Georgians) rice as a beloved staple.”
Because of Persian cuisine’s influence on lands to both the east and west, many of the dishes have a haunting familiarity. You think you recognize them but then you realize there’s a twist: Kurdish white beans stewed with turmeric, tomatoes, and dried lime; Georgian chicken giblets in spiced walnut dressing; tender Iranian rice-flour cardamom cookies. The transfixing photographs of people and places are Duguid’s own work, a testament to her time spent in these lands and the people from whom she learned.
Color photographs throughout. Hardcover.