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12 Reviews
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars evocative, triste and charming
....small size (together with lovely cover and sewn-in book mark) is part of what makes the whole package so charming and covetable. Never having been to Egypt in 1940, or otherwise, I can't say whether a previous reviewer (who thinks the memories and recipes unauthentic) is right or not. But why would the author make it up? Certainly, her descriptions of her mother...
Published on 15 Jun 2001 by ruth.watson@btinternet.com

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An evocative look at life in1940s Cairo through food.
I heard Colette talking about her book on the radio and was totally captivated by the description of her life in Cairo and her love of Egyptian food during the 30's and 40's. Never has a book inspired me to travel to a destination so much as this one. Unfortunately the Cairo of Soda fountains, amazing mansions with gardens and cool country clubs has long since gone but...
Published on 3 May 2001


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars evocative, triste and charming, 15 Jun 2001
....small size (together with lovely cover and sewn-in book mark) is part of what makes the whole package so charming and covetable. Never having been to Egypt in 1940, or otherwise, I can't say whether a previous reviewer (who thinks the memories and recipes unauthentic) is right or not. But why would the author make it up? Certainly, her descriptions of her mother and grandparents are far too painfully drawn to be an invention. I've ordered 2 more copies to send to friends who share the misery of having an unsatisfactory mother.
I loved this intimate little book despite the contents being slight. And, although the (pretty standard) recipes are few and far between, they are no less authoritative than Claudia Roden's (or those of any other Middle Eastern food writer I've read) as well as being evocative and doable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Exquisite Memoir, 24 Jun 2008
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Well Read "saro319" (Norhampton England) - See all my reviews
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Colette Rossant's glittering childhood memoir of her French extended family life in Cairo, is one of those stories this reader did not want to put down or to finish. Utterly compelling, her memoir is a feast of family characters and recipes. Her wealthy family lived in the spacious Villa Palacci in Cairo's Garden City. "A neighbourhood of winding streets, with immense villas and lush gardens, designed for the nineteenth century well -to-do Egyptian and European Jewish merchants and foreign ambassadors." Even as a small child, Rossant loved being in the kitchen with her Grandmaman Marguerite. Who sings in Arabic when kneading dough, and their cook Ahmet with whom Grandmaman shares power in the kitchen. The colours and flavours of the fruits, vegetables and spices, and the delicious cuisine emerging from the family kitchen, evoke an era when cooking and fine dining was an art in the home. Rossant doesn't miss a single beautiful or poignant beat, when packing her childhood saga into this exquisite slim volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mouthwatering!, 29 Aug 2008
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Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Yet another 'foodie' book that I found hard to put down! Colette Rossant tells her life story from her early childhood through to adulthood - she describes in detail her complicated family and her relationships with her parents and both sets of grandparents along with various other eccentric aunts and distant siblings.

She paints a vivid picture of life in different countries; Egypt, France and America and also her time spent in a convent whilst in France with her mother. Throughout the book, her love of food and the descriptions of the feasts the family enjoyed (especially in Egypt) are mouth-watering. Recipes are dotted all through the book aswell - so those of us adventurous enough can try them out.

A real joy to read, only a short book but it's really honestly written and very enjoyable. Her tales continue in her next book; 'Return To Paris' which I will look forward to reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a journey to the Nile..., 31 Dec 2007
What a delightful book! I love cooking books that share and impassion you to try and discover new countries, new tastes, new cultures. Her recipes are delightful, perhaps they take a while, but that's the whole point of this - to enjoy the making as much as to enjoy the tasting. As the world moves on faster and faster, these kind of books really keep a tradition going within families.
The food is tasty and as long as you can get some of the ingredients, a delight to make and absolutely gorgeous to eat!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for the discerning traveller and cook., 28 May 2001
By A Customer
This is joyeous book, beautifully and honestly written. The recipes add a wonderful dimension to the writing, and many look as though they can be successfully replicated in the kitchen. Certainly a case of 'good things coming in small packages'.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An evocative look at life in1940s Cairo through food., 3 May 2001
By A Customer
I heard Colette talking about her book on the radio and was totally captivated by the description of her life in Cairo and her love of Egyptian food during the 30's and 40's. Never has a book inspired me to travel to a destination so much as this one. Unfortunately the Cairo of Soda fountains, amazing mansions with gardens and cool country clubs has long since gone but what a beautifully evocative portrait this is. Plus it has recipes!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet memories of a magical childhood, 10 April 2001
By A Customer
I had not heard of Colette Rossant until I came across an excerpt from Apricots on the Nile in a recent edition of Food Illustrated. That was enough to make me order the book from Amazon!
I read the whole thing within a couple of hours - I simply couldn't stop indulging myself in descriptions of a exotic lifestyle so completely different from my own.
Rossant writes about a childhood surrounded by her large and wealthy Egyptian family where food and entertaining were high on the list of priorities. You can almost taste and smell the dishes she so vividly describes - it is a good thing that the recipes for ful medames, babaghanou and sambusaks are included in the book.
At the same time as Rossant shares her happy memories of the magial times she spent in the kichen helping Ahmet the cook, the reader also learns about the little girl who misses her dead father and absent mother.
Apricots on the Nile makes me want to travel to Cairo and buy watermelons at the main market - so I suppose the Egyptian tourist agency should be grateful to Rossant's inspiring memories.
By the way: I'm having a bit of a problem deciding where to keep the book - in the kichen or the library? Perhaps I'll have to buy another copy...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 Aug 2013
By 
Sunny (Hampshire England) - See all my reviews
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I really loved this book very well written you did not want to put it down - lots of recipes too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delicious, 10 Jan 2010
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after having heard this as a book of the week on Radio 4 I always wanted my own copy.
I wasn't disappointed, it expands the audio story and I am delighted with it. The addition of recipes is delicious
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure, 3 Dec 2013
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This book draws you into the various places in which the authour has lived. It is funny and compassionate and through the recpies allows you share her memories.
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Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes: Memories of a Lost Egypt
Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes: Memories of a Lost Egypt by Colette Rossant (Paperback - 1 April 2004)
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