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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cover encloses a very poor cookbook., 3 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes (Hardcover)
The cover will attract many; it is gorgeous. The contents are very disappointing indeed. There are exceptions but in the main this book is not going to get you an authentic experience, or practical help. We are experienced cooks who love recipes from all around the globe but have found that so far the recipes in the book are bland and not worth the necessary effort. You get an initial warning when coming across comments such as 'this is my attempt to deconstruct' a recipe, or 'this is my take on' another recipe. Not authentic. The author has clearly spent more time in the US than the eastern Mediterranean environment. It really is not clear who this book is designed for. Perhaps it is just meant to look pretty on a coffee table! Following the recipes carefully becomes problematic when steps or processes are left out, or when no mention is made of whether a particular ingredient is to be added raw or prepared. We usually guess correctly, but only because we have been cooking for so many years.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2014 11:16:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Feb 2014 01:56:43 GMT
Thank you for your positive feedback regarding my book cover. Please could you tell me which recipes you cooked and found bland? And I'd greatly appreciate it if you could also provide me with the recipes that had instructions missing so that I may look into that and correct them if necessary?

The book is meant to be an introduction to the cuisine and to make it a little more approachable in the Western kitchen. I would have liked to have included far more historical information on the cuisine and region but I was given a specific format to follow.

I'm not sure which Middle Eastern cookbooks you're comparing JK with and so; I am very interested to know which ones. I'm also curious as to whether you have traveled to the Middle East before?

In any case, I'll beg to differ about authenticity and as only someone who was certainly raised in the Middle East would be able to explain, this book is in fact a very respectful ode to the traditional recipes, yes, sometimes a little inspired but that's precisely when this sort of information is divulged to keep the reader informed in order to maintain respect and reduce popular misinformation about such a rich culinary heritage.

As for any doubts about my personal authenticity and upbringing- It would be hard to know for sure unless you met me :)

Thanks again for your feedback.
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