North African Cookery Paperback – 31 May 2012
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'...rich in historical background, full of marvellous proverbs and teaches the use of unusual herb and spice combinations.' Oxford Mail 'A tour of North Africa for the traveller, the chef, the shopper and the taste buds.' Glasgow Herald
About the Author
Arto der Haroutunian was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1940 and grew up in the Levant, but came to England with his parents as a child and remained here for most of his life. He studied architecture at Manchester University and established a career designing restaurants, clubs and hotels. In 1970, in partnership with his brother, he opened the first Armenian restaurant in Manchester which eventually became a successful chain of six restaurants and two hotels. He died in 1987 at the untimely age of 47. He is survived by his wife and son who still live in Manchester. His other interests included composing music and translating Turkish, Arab, Persian and Armenian authors. He was a true polymath and his cookery books combined his love of food with his great interest in history and culture.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this on a whim a fortnight ago and have already made five or six different dishes from it. Everything has been incredible, the sort of food that's so tasty you want to just sit back and start quietly swearing at the plate. Most dishes are simple and pretty cheap to make too, just stock up on certain herbs and spices and you're good to go.
There's loads of interesting info about the origin of various recipes all interspersed with amusingly nonsensical proverbs from the regions involved. The author doesn't skimp on authenticity either, I can't imagine I'll find the time to cook lamb's head, but should I ever feel so desired, I have everything I need to make it a success. The complete lack of imagery is a bonus too as you often don't have an idea of what the finished product will look like until you've cooked it. I quite like that.
If you're interested in north African food, buy this book.
I just discovered Arto Der Haroutunian very recently. I've got this book from a public library and I loved it so much that I ordered my own copy. I just received it today. I love everything about it: the history, the stories, some recipes (ok, there are some small mistakes but it does not really matter).
I also ordered the other books about Turkish cookery and Middle Eastern cookerie.. It's sad he left us! It's also sad he's not as famous as other cookbook writers..His books definitely stand out of the crowd out there in a very positive way..
North African cookery should have depth, excitement, and should be full of those warm flavours. This book is just disappointing on every level. A sad experience!
I think this is an 'authentic' recipe book, and that is fine, for historians of food, maybe, but the recipes lack the kind of finesse and taste that modern interpretations can offer.