Review: Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid ISBN 9781579655488

Review: Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid ISBN 9781579655488

Title: Taste of Persia – a cook’s travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan
Author: Naomi Duguid
ISBN: 9781579655488
Price: $50.00
Publisher: Artisan

Review by Lorie Pierce

The images in Canadian author Naomi Duguid’s new book Taste of Persia, a cook’s travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan are so beautiful, and the story-telling so interesting, that it is one of those books which is hard to put down.

But can someone who has never cooked in the Persian style, produce the glorious dishes shown on the pages? And can one source the ingredients in wintry Québec?

kofta-soupAfter narrowing my choices to a Kurdish Eggplant and Tomato Stew and an Azerbaijani meatball soup named Kofta, I was able to buy the additional spices in local specialty stores. The other recipes will have to wait until I can find the more exotic ingredients, such as pomegranate molasses.

The soup proved to have a very uniquely delicious taste with an unusual blend of cinnamon, mint, ginger and turmeric. The addition of a bit of dried apricot lurked in the middle of the meatball produced a sweet surprise.

The tomato and eggplant stew was hearty and rich, ideal for a cold snowy day. Its interesting blend of turmeric and cumin was complemented with a topping of salty cheese and fresh parsley. An optional preparation includes the addition of beef or lamb as the eggplant cooks.

tomato-eggplant-stewBoth dishes will quickly become household favourites and I look forward to trying the recipes from Armenia, Georgia and Iran.

Although the recipes were relatively uncomplicated to prepare, the cookbook would have benefitted from the addition of metric measurements. It turned out I had not bought enough ground beef for the Kofta meatballs, so made only half a batch. Also, it would have been helpful if there were more photos of recipe preparation, as it was difficult to visualize some of the steps from the written instructions.

Taste of Persia, a cook’s travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan would be a lovely addition to any cookbook library and also doubles as an attractive coffee table book.

The author, Naomi Duguid, is a writer, photographer, teacher, cook, and world traveller based in Toronto. Her articles and photographs appear regularly in many publications and she is a frequent guest speaker and presenter at food conferences.

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