Top positive review
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A book to read, use and enjoy
on 8 September 2012
I saw Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do a cookery demonstration at the Hay Festival and bought their two previous books, adding them to the pile of cut out recipes from the Guardian. I also watched Ottolenghi's Jerusalem on the television, so I have been waiting for this book with great eagerness.
It does not disappoint.
Jerusalem is a melting pot. It is the point where many cultures meet and this is reflected in the food that is eaten in the city. Ottolenghi and Tamimi are ideal guides to this food as they bridge the Jewish/Arab divide.
The recipes are not a definitive collection of the food of Jerusalem. They represent Ottolenghi's and Tamimi's view of the city and its food, their childhood memories and what they feel is typical. They show how a common thread can be found in recipes from diverse sections of the city, for instance, tracing the influences of Italy and Spain mingling with both the Arab and Jewish influences of North Africa.
It has all the elements which to my mind make up an excellent cookery book. Firstly and most importantly:
1. The recipes are delicious. They are clearly explained and most are illustrated. I have eaten nothing but recipes from this book since I got it. Even though I live in the depths of the country I have been able to source all the ingredients needed.
2. It is interesting to read. Food is not just ingredients assembled in the correct way and cooked. Food is our history and our culture and this book discusses both. It is a fascinating read.
3. It is beautiful to look at with glorious photographs.
I thoroughly recommend this book. Buy it, read it, use it and enjoy it - then recommend it to all your friends.