Pdf A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes – Bilb-weil.de

A groundbreaking culinary work of extraordinary depth and scope that spans than one thousand years of history, A Mediterranean Feast tells the sweeping story of the birth of the venerated and diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean Author Clifford A Wright weaves together historical and culinary strands from Moorish Spain to North Africa, from coastal France to the Balearic Islands, from Sicily and the kingdoms of Italy to Greece, the Balkan coast, Turkey, and the Near EastThe evolution of these cuisines is not simply the story of farming, herding, and fishing; rather, the story encompasses wars and plagues, political intrigue and pirates, the Silk Road and the discovery of the New World, the rise of capitalism and the birth of citystates, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, and the obsession with spices The ebb and flow of empires, the movement of populations from country to city, and religion have all played a determining role in making each of these cuisines uniqueIn A Mediterranean Feast, Wright also shows how the cuisines of the Mediterranean have been indelibly stamped with the uncompromising geography and climate of the area and a past marked by both unrelenting poverty and outrageous wealth The book's than five hundred contemporary recipes which have been adapted for today's kitchen are the end point of centuries of evolution and show the full range of culinary ingenuity and indulgence, from the peasant kitchen to the merchant pantry They also illustrate the migration of local culinary predilections, tastes for food and methods of preparation carried from home to new lands and back by conquerors, seafarers, soldiers, merchants, and religious pilgrimsA Mediterranean Feast includes fourteen original maps of the contemporary and historical Mediterranean, a guide to the Mediterranean pantry, food products resources, a complete bibliography, and a recipe and general index, in addition to a pronunciation key An astonishing accomplishment of culinary and historical research and detective work in eight languages, A Mediterranean Feast is requiredand intriguingreading for any cook, armchair or otherwise

10 thoughts on “A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes

  1. Asya Fergiani Asya Fergiani says:

    This book is a remarkable history of the evolution of cuisine in the Mediterranean. It won the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year award for 1999. This is not merely a cookbook or simple collection of recipes, but an in depth history of the development of culinary arts and traditions throughout North Africa around what is now known as the Middle East and Europe. I read this book like a juicy novel or page turning mystery. It addresses the influence of trade and the utilization of techniques for the preservation of food used before modern refrigeration.

    One of the recipes that I found intriguing was “Asban” a traditional meat sausage of the area near Tunisia. This recipe as well as the historical commentary gave this book personal authenticity being that it is a traditional dish of my husband’s people that I have helped prepare while in Libya with my in-laws using traditional methods. One thing that was somewhat questionable was the author’s own substitutions and seemingly lack of consideration when he states, “I call for pork caul fat and casing only because it is very difficult to find lamb caul fat or casing, unless you have a kosher/halal butcher in your neighborhood” (Wright 73).

    As an aspiring writer, the idea of substituting pork into a Muslim recipe seems to be a direct disregard for the people who the author is writing about. In my future writings, I hope to always be mindful of my subjects and careful not to take for granted their fundamental beliefs. It seems that he may have been aware that it might be offensive. Overall this book is an amazing combination of history and cuisine that continues to be worthy of picking up to read and refer to again and again.

  2. Nathan Kibler Nathan Kibler says:

    I've had this book on my cookbook shelf since it was something I was able to drag home from a local estate sale. This volume is in good shape, but has some water stains which may make it difficult to resell if I need. It is very thick and consists primarily of history essays interspersed with short recipes. Did you know cabbage was a staple for most of Europe over the past 1000 years? Also, did you know Middle-Eastern culture had a much bigger influence than we were taught in High School history class?

    I remember reading an interview of the author where he admitted he did not like beans or cabbage, so one of the primary recipes he presents contains 1/2 of white beans and 1/2 a head of savoy...in 6 quarts of water! He rounds it out with duck fat, which is added at the end. Seriously!?!

    All the same, his involved research and outlook on integrating all the nations of the Mediterranean is a noble and well executed pursuit. His writing, while a bit dry because of the subject, is engaging and keeps you reading through each section.

    Now, if you really want to make a delicious bean and cabbage soup, triple the amount of beans, double the cabbage and start with a ham hock or other piece of flavorful soup bone. With all the juices from the meat and marrow there is no need to add fat at the end for any finish.

  3. Catherine Catherine says:

    The book includes all you can possibly want to know about the histories of Mediterraean cultures and their impact on agriculture, food and recipes. A travel in time, in flavors, all around the Mediterranee.

    I must confess that before ending chapter 1, I felt the need to open my son's encyclopedia of the world history to understand the whole historical context, in spite of a long introduction where the author presents the main historical milestones. Neither does the author provide a Mediteranean geography for dummies chapter.

    The book is also a cooking book and as such contains many recipes with an introduction explaining the link betwen the recipe and the rest of the text. The recipes are not what is called nowadays the 'Mediterranean diet'. I didn't enjoy the recipes as much as I enjoy the book content, because I found them all too fat; I am not a fan of meals with too much fat or meat. That was a disappointment, but perhaps just because of wrong expectations.

    I truly enjoyed the writer's intellectual honesty. He is very clear on his sources (especially for the recipes) and his (respectful) disagreements with other authors, as well as honest about his personal preferences influencing his choices.

    This book is of very impressive size. But the information is organised into chapters by topics. This makes it easy to forget the book on a shelve for a few days or even a few weeks, and take it back later.

    So it's overall a big fat but highly digestible book for food & history lovers.Oh and I forgot to say, I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Joey Cazares Joey Cazares says:

    Amazing history depicting the development and many influences of Mediterranean cuisine as we know it. Written from the historical perspective which decodes the many phenomenal origins of Mediterranean ingredients and cooking techniques. This book reveals the subtle art of cultural identity formation--the appropriation of other cultures into a uniquely ubiquitous and recognizable form.

    Also love the fact that this book has no heroes. Recipes are all tested and set the traditional bar for Mediterranean cooking. The well researched anecdotes littered throughout the book make for a fun read; my favorite story is on the origin and technique for making cous cous from scratch. WOW! I am greatly humbled by the dedication and due diligence put behind the authorship of this book.

  5. Jon-Erik Jon-Erik says:

    Just, wow.

    I first bought this book about 10 years ago and read through it a bit, but mostly gleaned a few recipes here and there. But it is more than a cookbook. It is perhaps the most informative social history book of the Mediterranean you could ask for. What could be more important history than what people ate?!

    You will learn more than just how to cook a bunch of great healthy food. You'll learn why it came to be eaten where it came to be eaten and about the people who ate it.

  6. Kate Kate says:

    So, you have to REALLY be into the history of cuisine to enjoy this book. If you are, it is absolutely fascinating. And the recipes are delicious. I find myself whipping this out for special occasions--Easter dinner and the like. Be prepared to take a fair amount of time on most of the recipes--no Rachel Ray quickies here.

  7. Sjancourtz Sjancourtz says:

    Fascinating history of food. And the recipes are great! Better than most Lebanese/Turkish/Greek cookbooks I found. Plus I finally found out why my Armenian friend denied that a vegetable stew she and I both make was called gouvej. I learned the Turkish name for the stew; she uses another, Armneian name. Same stuff. Fun!

  8. G-- G-- says:

    Extraordinary. An extensive discussion of the origins and evolution of various mediterrantean styles of cooking, with
    recipes. I have to admit that the recipes are less compelling than the tour guide.

  9. Leanne Hoffmann Leanne Hoffmann says:

    Yes, a cookbook. Read parts of it as assigned reading for a Mediterranean anthropology class I took a few years ago. The recipes are good; the history interesting. It's one of the few books on a cookbook shelf. Someday.

  10. Mercedes Mercedes says:

    Love, love, love this book! It's not just a cookbook, but it's a well written history book as well.
    It is definitely not a vegetarian book, but that just makes it even more interesting since gets my creative juices flowing to change some of these recipes into vegetarian alternatives.