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Persia in Peckham: Recipes from Persepolis Paperback – 23 Aug 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Prospect Books; 1st edition (23 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190301851X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903018514
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Like all great cuisines, the food of Iran is more than just about food - it is a window into the history and soul of a nation. This book is the one we will be cooking from this year'.

From the Publisher

Short-listed for the André Simon Food Book of the Year Award 2008

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This comes across as a cookbook intended for people who are new to Iranian cookery and culture. While generally I liked this book, it could have done with a touch more sharp editing to prune down the writing style. The information about Iranian everyday life sets the dishes nicely into context. Despite the gorgeousness of the cover, there are only a few line drawings inside and no pictures of typical presentations of finished dishes. The ingredient lists are, annoyingly, printed in red which will cause difficulty to a minority of readers. Some of the ingredients, such as barberries, aloo Bokhara, sour cherries and Iranian roasted chickpea flour, will be impossible to obtain outside London and a few large cities, although there are plenty of dishes which require less exotic ingredients. Mail order for these items is prohibitively expensive. While there are good explanations
There are some fascinating tastes like lettuce braised with sweet mint syrup. Bandari sausages as well as the various vegetable and salad dishes also attract. I could have done with some more information about how Iranians shop. I am assuming the lack of information on baking breads is because everybody goes to a local baker - plenty of clips of this on Youtube. The sweetmeats chapters have some lovely calorific items like syrup-soaked elephant ears (deep fried phyllo) but the desserts section is a touch thin. I would also have liked some more kukoo recipes, which could have merited a chapter on their own. However, her aubergine and walnut egg dish is not to be missed. Also loved her takht e jamshid eggs which suggests alternatives for people unable to get the special Iranian sausage used for this dish and also suggests the use of halloumi for vegetarians.
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By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a bit ambivalent about this book. It's certainly a good introduction to Iranian food, but is lacking a bit in style. Firstly the lack of any photography of recipes is a big minus. Secondly the chummy, matey writing style; this will probably appeal to many, but not to me. Giving recipes names like "Oh my God how many relatives did we invite for dinner? pudding" just annoys. Giving rules on how customers should behave in the author's shop "Persepolis" in Peckham is probably meant to be jokey but simply grates; well I don't know how Ms Butcher manages to get through the day, being forced to let the riff-raff actually come into her shop.

I don't regret getting this book, indeed it's a useful addition to my collection of Iranian cookbooks. But if you are new to this food and want an introduction to Iranian cuisine, I suggest instead taking a look at one of:

A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cuisine

New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies (more comprehensive book by the same author as the above)

The Legendary Cuisine of Persia
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Format: Paperback
This book is a breath of fresh air. Insights into the Persian culture and psyche are funny because they are true - I can identify with much of what Sally says. Buy this book if you want to try food which is simple, good for you and most importantly tasty! I can't imagine life without food like this anymore. Try it.
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Format: Paperback
A Lovely, witty and entertaining read full of gorgeous recipes and fascinating facts. The insights into the Persian way of life were as interesting as the foodie facts and could make a book of their own. I am looking forward to stocking my cupboards with some exotic ingredients and trying some (most!) of the recipes. A truly delightful book and highly recommended.
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This book is brilliant. I found Butcher's recipes delicious and her instructions clear.

The real gem is the description of Iranian culture though. Butcher explains why certain dishes are considered Iranian, as well as how some traditions have come about. The drawings are also lovely. She recommends shops to buy the more obscure ingredients as well as alternatives if you can't get to them.. a real added bonus.

The only drawback is the lack of photos- I love to see what the end product will look like - often it helps me decide what to cook!
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I noticed a few people don't like Sally Butcher's style of writing. That's their opinion and they're perfectly entitled to it. Each to their own. I, however, love her chatty, informal style of writing. Its a bit like having a friend in the kitchen with you, chatting away whilst telling you how to make delicious food. And the food in this book is delicious. I often pick it out from my huge bookcase of cookbooks just to have a relaxing read. I appreciate her style of writing is not for everyone but, for me, Sally Butcher and her recipes in Persia in Peckham are just wonderful. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone ... as long as you like an informal writing style.
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OK but some recipes with little or nothing to do with Persia, like a somalian recipe and a jerk recipe included because the author wanted to include some of the other cuisines of the local area (Peckham).That said, most of the recipes are authentic. Has some interesting info on Iranian culture, customs etc which may or not be what you are looking for in a cookery book. No photos of the food, which I found a bit off-putting.
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