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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad

Release Date - September 2014

Joumana Accad

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but when I was young, I lived outside San Francisco for a couple years. There, my parents raised us to try every cultural cuisine put in front of us and decide if we liked it or not. Apparently, I brought joy to the owners of a Japanese restaurant as I would delight in everything they fed me. My kids were raised the same way, and there are few cultures where they do not find the food enjoyable.

While I've had Turkish, Greek, and even African cuisine, Lebanese is something I don't see in my area. Taste of Beirut makes it possible to enjoy a sampling of Lebanese at home.

After glancing through the more than 175 recipes, I found several to try. The dumpling-like creations filled with different fillings are first on my list, especially the sfeeha that are filled with a spicy meat mixture and pine nuts. The issue is finding the ingredients. Sumac is something I adore, but it's impossible to buy without ordering it online and paying shipping.

The cookbook starts with a look at the common ingredients, then delves into appetizers, sauces, salads, entrees, and even desserts. The cuisine is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. There are many yogurt-based sauces, but others rely heavily on tahini. Each recipe has instructions that anyone should be able to follow, and there are pictures to show you what the dish looks like.

Taste of Beirut is a solid cookbook. I can't wait to start cooking!

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