Scheherazade's Feasts: Foods of the Medieval Arab World
Cookbook author Habeeb Salloum and his daughters, historians Muna Salloum and Leila Salloum Elias, serve up a tasty combination of medieval history and cooking in Scheherazade's Feasts. From the 7th through the 13th centuries, the Muslim world stretched from the borders of China to the Iberian Peninsula. It was a period of creativity and innovation in science, philosophy--and the culinary arts, as Muslim cooks used ingredients and techniques from across the empire to create a cuisine worthy of a caliph.
The Salloums present 100 recipes from medieval Arabic cookbooks, place them in historical context, then adapt them for the modern cook. Some are ancestors of dishes available at any modern Middle Eastern restaurant; others combine familiar ingredients in unexpected ways--for example, chicken with pomegranate juice and pumpkin.
Scheherazade's Feast is a perfect holiday gift for adventurous cooks or hungry history buffs. --Pamela Toler, blogging at History in the Margins