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Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean Hardcover – 3 Jun 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; 1st Edition edition (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091930960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091930967
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.2 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The pages are so packed with Silvena's characteristic enthusiasm and irresistible passion, I defy anyone to resist." (Heston Blumenthal)

"Gloriously presented recipes from lesser-known regions of the eastern Mediterranean which draw on Rowe's Ottoman heritage and her passion for the region, as she weaves poetry, fairy tale and history into her cookbook. Another one for fans of the Moro and Ottolenghi cookbooks to savour." (Editor’s Pick, Bookseller)

"Filled with recipes that are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat." (Daily Mail)

"This enticingly photographed book is a great read and a fascinating exploration of Eastern Mediterranean food and culture." (Delicious Magazine)

"Remarkable and seductively beautiful" (Adelaide Independent)

Book Description

A delicious peek into the kitchens of the little-known region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When, like me, you have something of a mania for collecting Middle Eastern cookbooks, each new purchase carries with it an increasing risk, especially if you are buying it 'blind', that it will offer nothing new but instead every recipe will more or less duplicate something that has come before somewhere or another in one of your volumes, and thus end up as a bit of a pointless acquisition. I pre-ordered this on the basis of rave reviews of her earlier publications which I don't own, and I've not been disappointed as Silvena Rowe has here presented us with something of a fresh approach to the region's cuisine with plenty of new recipes, innovation and ideas.

The geographical region covered is essentially restricted to Turkey and Syria rather than the wider area we would normally think of as the Eastern Mediterranean, but it also includes a certain element of 'fusion' cooking brought into some of the dishes whilst not totally losing sight of the Levantine essence, and the feel is very contemporary and up to the minute rather than merely harking back to classics.

It's a well presented and colourful volume, with a standard division into mezze, starters, boreks, pilafs & salads, meat, fish vegetables and sweets; generally it has one recipe to one page, mostly accompanied by an opposing excellent photograph, and a minimum of irrelevant location photographs which serve as padding in many other similar cookbooks.

Some sample recipes:

Mezze

Suzme (strained yoghurt, a.k.a.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing Ms Rowe on Saturday Kitchen. Although I find her a bit over-powering to watch on TV, she writes well and the recipes in this book are brilliant! If this book doesn't increase sales of Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses then I'll be very surprised!

The recipes that I have tried all work and taste very authentic. I think that Middle-eastern Ottoman cuisine is one of the undiscovered greats!

I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was seduced by the pictures in this beautiful book but this was the book that reminded me why I usually get the book from the library first and try out the recipes before I invest in the book!!
Yes it looked gorgeous, but I found most of the recipes I tried nothing special or they were unneccesarily difficult, complicated or just plain didn't work. They were also rather cheffy.
Syrian za'atarbread with thyme flowers sounded amazing but was dire and the houmous recipe that needed icecubes added to the mixture was a waste of time. the icecubes added nothing to the recipe.

There were a few recipes that were really good, the yogurt cheese and the kebab with nuts but it was a rather expensive way to get four, maybe five recipes at the most.
I spend a lot of time cooking and make all my own preserves, bread and icecream so I am no novice in the kitchen. There are better Middle eastern cook books out there.
Claudia Roden is tops and all her recipes work. Her book Arabesque is brilliant.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book
I received it yesterday and prepared three dishes today with lots more in the pipeline for later this week
I am lucky to live in London where the ingredients are readily available but today I happened to look in the fridge to see what needed using up:
Fennel,spring onions, half a block of Feta, Eggs, Tomatoes, Aubergine, lemons and long red peppers with walnuts and herbs in the garden
I already had sumac and bought some Pomegranite molasses yesterday
A feast if i do say so myself and the flavours were amazing
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By M on 30 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with this book straight away - the look of it, the colours and photographs were fantastic. I have already made the rose petal ice cream (gorgeous), and the rose petal jam (trying to figure out how i'm going to use this, but its lovely!). And will be trying out the Baklava tomorrow. I loved it so much I got her other book Orient Express.

My only reason for not giving it a full 5 stars is that her directions for the cooking are not very clear - for instance with making the custard part of making the icecream - she does not describe clearly what to do, it is very very vague. Apart from that its great - if you are used to cooking then it won't be a problem, but if you are new to it, maybe start with a more idiot proof book first!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is well written and attractive. The pictures are nice and the whole thing is just great. So what's the problem?

It's a book about middle-eastern cooking that goes against the grain of everything that middle-eastern cooking is about. That is frugality, substance and practicality. These meals are not for someone who wants to prepare a good meal. They're for someone who has a great deal of free time to play around with insubstantial experiments.

I bought the book because I liked the cover and the look of the dish there portrayed. I have a book with a nice cover but as for having a book that's practical for preparing substantial meals, this is definately not it. The last point I'd like to make is that in order to buy the ingredients included here you'll need to be on more than the average income. You'll not find them in the average Deli either. Enough said. Plenty of reviewers have obviously liked this book. For me it's a great deal of fluff with very little substance.
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