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Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean [Hardcover]

Silvena Rowe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.00
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Book Description

3 Jun 2010

Silvena Rowe invites you on a journey through Oriental Mediterranean history, sampling some of the best-kept secrets of the culinary world along the way. The olive, rosemary and basil of the west are here combined with the exotic spices of the east, for a contemporary cuisine of surprising lightness and variety - proof, if proof were needed, that there is more to the Mediterranean than just Italy and France.

It's food for sharing, food for healthy living, food for celebrating - and above all it's delicious! Silvena Rowe gives her own modern twist to the classic recipes of a rich tradition, following in the footsteps of the great Ottoman chefs who combined the sweet and the sour, the fresh and the dried, the honey and cinnamon, saffron and sumac, scented rose and orange flower waters.

Presenting mouth-watering recipes alongside stunning photography, Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume brings to life the natural beauty and irresistible flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Frequently Bought Together

Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean + Orient Express
Price For Both: £36.00

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  • Orient Express £16.00

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; 1st Edition edition (3 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091930960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091930967
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 25.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The pages are so packed with Silvena's characteristic enthusiasm and irresistible passion, I defy anyone to resist." (Heston Blumenthal)

"Gloriously presented recipes from lesser-known regions of the eastern Mediterranean which draw on Rowe's Ottoman heritage and her passion for the region, as she weaves poetry, fairy tale and history into her cookbook. Another one for fans of the Moro and Ottolenghi cookbooks to savour." (Editor’s Pick, Bookseller)

"Filled with recipes that are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat." (Daily Mail)

"This enticingly photographed book is a great read and a fascinating exploration of Eastern Mediterranean food and culture." (Delicious Magazine)

"Remarkable and seductively beautiful" (Adelaide Independent)

Book Description

A delicious peek into the kitchens of the little-known region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
149 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh approach 3 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When, like me, you have something of a mania for collecting Middle Eastern cookbooks, each new purchase carries with it an increasing risk, especially if you are buying it 'blind', that it will offer nothing new but instead every recipe will more or less duplicate something that has come before somewhere or another in one of your volumes, and thus end up as a bit of a pointless acquisition. I pre-ordered this on the basis of rave reviews of her earlier publications which I don't own, and I've not been disappointed as Silvena Rowe has here presented us with something of a fresh approach to the region's cuisine with plenty of new recipes, innovation and ideas.

The geographical region covered is essentially restricted to Turkey and Syria rather than the wider area we would normally think of as the Eastern Mediterranean, but it also includes a certain element of 'fusion' cooking brought into some of the dishes whilst not totally losing sight of the Levantine essence, and the feel is very contemporary and up to the minute rather than merely harking back to classics.

It's a well presented and colourful volume, with a standard division into mezze, starters, boreks, pilafs & salads, meat, fish vegetables and sweets; generally it has one recipe to one page, mostly accompanied by an opposing excellent photograph, and a minimum of irrelevant location photographs which serve as padding in many other similar cookbooks.

Some sample recipes:


Suzme (strained yoghurt, a.k.a.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars nice pictures but..... 6 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was seduced by the pictures in this beautiful book but this was the book that reminded me why I usually get the book from the library first and try out the recipes before I invest in the book!!
Yes it looked gorgeous, but I found most of the recipes I tried nothing special or they were unneccesarily difficult, complicated or just plain didn't work. They were also rather cheffy.
Syrian za'atarbread with thyme flowers sounded amazing but was dire and the houmous recipe that needed icecubes added to the mixture was a waste of time. the icecubes added nothing to the recipe.

There were a few recipes that were really good, the yogurt cheese and the kebab with nuts but it was a rather expensive way to get four, maybe five recipes at the most.
I spend a lot of time cooking and make all my own preserves, bread and icecream so I am no novice in the kitchen. There are better Middle eastern cook books out there.
Claudia Roden is tops and all her recipes work. Her book Arabesque is brilliant.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 3 Aug 2010
By David
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing Ms Rowe on Saturday Kitchen. Although I find her a bit over-powering to watch on TV, she writes well and the recipes in this book are brilliant! If this book doesn't increase sales of Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses then I'll be very surprised!

The recipes that I have tried all work and taste very authentic. I think that Middle-eastern Ottoman cuisine is one of the undiscovered greats!

I highly recommend this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite 30 Jun 2011
By M
I fell in love with this book straight away - the look of it, the colours and photographs were fantastic. I have already made the rose petal ice cream (gorgeous), and the rose petal jam (trying to figure out how i'm going to use this, but its lovely!). And will be trying out the Baklava tomorrow. I loved it so much I got her other book Orient Express.

My only reason for not giving it a full 5 stars is that her directions for the cooking are not very clear - for instance with making the custard part of making the icecream - she does not describe clearly what to do, it is very very vague. Apart from that its great - if you are used to cooking then it won't be a problem, but if you are new to it, maybe start with a more idiot proof book first!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I just love this food 22 Dec 2011
I just love this food, the flavours resonate with me.

Silvena's book is full of inspiring recipes. When cooked the dishes are full of flavour and look amazing; spiced scented lamb with quince and mustard relish, sea bream with currants and pistachios and a blood orange sauce, aubergine stacks with pomegranate, mint and yoghurt sauce, chilled sweet pea and watercress soup with rose petal cream, Jerusalem artichoke hummus with lamb and sumac, pink grapefruit avocado pomegranate salad with nasturtium flower.

There are specific tastes and flavour combinations which are unique to this cuisine; sumac, pine nuts, nigella seeds, jasmine, tarmarind, pomegranate molasses, Greek yogurt, lemons, tahini and garlic to mention a few. But it's what's done with this ingredient that makes the difference.

If you are looking to be inspired and need to add a bit of vroom vroom to your cooking this is the book for you.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume 13 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book
I received it yesterday and prepared three dishes today with lots more in the pipeline for later this week
I am lucky to live in London where the ingredients are readily available but today I happened to look in the fridge to see what needed using up:
Fennel,spring onions, half a block of Feta, Eggs, Tomatoes, Aubergine, lemons and long red peppers with walnuts and herbs in the garden
I already had sumac and bought some Pomegranite molasses yesterday
A feast if i do say so myself and the flavours were amazing
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just spent the last 3 weeks learning to master a range of dishes from...
Inspirational and delicious. Just spent the last 3 weeks learning to master a range of dishes from this wonderful recipe book to extend what we eat at home on a regular basis. Read more
Published 1 month ago by firefly
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book
This is possibly the most veggie friendly cook book I've bought that isn't veggie.

It has a huge range of dishes and I've yet to get stuck in but I'm pleased with my... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume - Brilliant Cookbook
Fabulous, really love the different recipes and different flavours and the ingredients are not difficult to find. A beautiful book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Linda M Lupton
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
A good read even if you don't cook. But if you do cook this book is a must have. Good value
Published 8 months ago by M Wickens
3.0 out of 5 stars Purple Citrus
Sexy, sexy book. The Baba Ganoush is just lovely and I've already made the Orange and Vanilla Baklava twice and its heavenly but use a little less filo and a little more orange... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mrs Chrissy M Sawyer
5.0 out of 5 stars The art of cooking
This book is a feast for the palate and the eyes. The recipes are easy to follow and produce delicious results every time.
Published 20 months ago by Patricia Millar
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Useful
I am a keen cook and have quite a collection of cookbooks. This one is outstanding on several levels. Read more
Published 21 months ago by TechnoNanna
5.0 out of 5 stars good quality
Beautiful images and interesting recipes. Bought this for someone else as a present -they were really pleased and from the quick flick I gave it I was too.
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by angela lansbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful book, wonderful flavours
This book is both a wonderful read and a collection of very workable recipes. One of my favourite cookery books without a doubt.
Published on 4 July 2011 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Impractical and expensive recipes
The book is well written and attractive. The pictures are nice and the whole thing is just great. So what's the problem? Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by Gurphy
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