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4.4 out of 5 stars13
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2015
I had this book years ago but lost it one of many moves around the country. This is such a charming little book. It is essentially the account of Colette Rossant's early childhood in Egypt with her beloved "nanny" and cook. Her mother was a socialite who was largely absent and this book is very touching in places as the little girl tries to make sense of it all. However, it is not so much morbid as very interesting and engaging as the recipes for the food she loved to eat are included in full throughout the tale. I have cooked some of them myself and found then to be delicious. This book is very atmospheric and beautifully written.Highly recommended.
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on 3 December 2013
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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on 9 August 2013
I really loved this book very well written you did not want to put it down - lots of recipes too.
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on 10 January 2010
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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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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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2008
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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on 31 December 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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on 6 September 2004
Written in sections Apricots on the Nile is the memoir of Colette Rossant dealing with her childhood and early adult life: her relationship with her parents, grandparents and other members of the family.
Spanning generations and several countries we get a vivid account of the author's life in Egypt, France and New York and her time spent in a convent. The descriptions of the food make it almost possible for the reader to smell these wonderful culinary creations and the addition of some of the recipes really does make it a book to savour.
This memoir is continued in Return to Paris, which I look forward to reading.
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....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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on 28 May 2001
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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