Recipes and Tales of Arab Life
“Best Foreign Cookbook in the World”
‘Salon du Livre Gourmand 2000’
The Arab nations invest much of their culture in food, eating becomes a memory of their history. Traditionally the secrets of Arab cooking have been passed from mother to daughter. Salah Jamal is one of the few men to enter the kitchen. He has spent a lifetime collecting recipes from all over the Arab world, and prepares a feast of dishes: the ubiquitous falafel, hommos and salads, to delicious stuffed vegetables and stews, couscous, fish and oven-cooked meats, soups and brochettes to spicy, stuffed whole lamb, chicken and pigeon, as well as sweets, pastries and traditional drinks.
Among these dishes Salah Jamal relives his childhood in Nablus and his years of travel around the Arab world, witty and evocative memories of picaresque travel in the Maghreb and comic tales of Lybyan fanatics, eccentric sheiks, dervishes, the dexterous Lebanese and devious Bedouin women.
Salah Jamal was born in Palestine in 1951. He is a Professor at the Catalan University of Vic and holds a seat on the board of Barcelona’s leading cultural forum, the Ateneo.
“Salah Jamal, however, gives a different flavor to what it means to be a Palestinian. His book… takes readers to a place that reveals more about a culture than failed negotiations: the kitchen… an opportunity to provide food for thought, so to speak, about Arab culture… a book that could equally have been titled Make Food, Not War.”
“There are lots of evocative and rare flavours here… delightful stories and observations.”
“A fund of anecdotes, wisdom and a deepened understanding of the variations in Arab cuisine that reflect the diversity of the Arab world. All of this he shares, with humour and affection.”