Communal Eating, Women's Work (Used with permission.)
Cooking in the Arab world, in general, adheres to one of the most healthful food patterns on earth, probably healthier in many ways than the Mediterranean model (and that is the stuff of a special future post). The freshest food, the most beautiful colors, the greatest imagination in wielding the pan, this is what the food of the Middle East offers.
Carrying Wood, Where it All Begins (Used with permission of Antonio Perez Rio.)
But most of all, I hold women like this woman in my heart, because she is Everywoman, Arab and non-Arab, who worked to feed her children and family. Gathering wood, starting the morning fire, heating water, cooking food, searching for food in times of drought, all these tasks go unsung. The cookbooks and books about food that weigh down this list and others like it, the shelves of libraries and bookstores, all this came about ultimately because of women’s labor and outright creativity.
The following bibliography [last updated September 7, 2009] is but a small sampling of the material available in English on Arab cooking. Many authors, cooks, and chroniclers share their experiences in the kitchen with us. All of these people certainly make my life richer. And all of our lives fuller, for that matter. I wish everyone could immerse themselves in the kitchen culture of people in other parts of the world, other than the United States, for there is so much to learn.
Books on Arab Cuisine in the Virginia Tech Library
Abourezk, Sanaa. Secrets of healthy Middle Eastern cuisine. New York : Interlink Books, 2000.
Atiyeh, Wadeeha. Scheherazade cooks! Great Neck, N.Y., Channel Press .
Couscous (Used with permission of Jack & Tina Fussell.)
Carrier, Robert. Taste of Morocco. London : Boxtree, 1996, c1987.
Dagher, Shawky M., ed. Traditional foods in the Near East. Rome : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1991.
Gelder, G. J. H. van. God’s banquet : food in classical Arabic literature. New York : Columbia University Press, 2000.
Goldman, Rivka. Mama Nazima’s Jewish-Iraqi Cuisine: Cuisine, History, Cultural References, and Survival Stories of the Jewish Iraqi. New York: Hippocrene Books, 2006.
Heine, Peter. Food Culture in the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2004.
Ibrahim, Lamees. The Iraqi Cookbook. Northhampton, Mass.: Interlink Book, 2009.
Karaoglan, Aida. A gourmet’s delight : selected recipes from the haute cuisine of the Arab world. 2d ed. 1976. (Also in Library of Congress.)
Nasrallah, Nawal. Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook. English Translation with Introduction and Glossary. Leiden, New York: Brill, 2007.
Nickles, Harry G. et al. Middle Eastern cooking. Rev. ed. New York : Time-Life Books, 1976, c1969. (Plus recipe booklet.)
Lemons and Olives, Oh My! (Used with permission of Scott Ashkenaz.)
Perry, Charles, translator. A Baghdad Cookery Book. Petits Propos Culinaires 79. Prospect Books, 2005.
Roden, Claudia. A book of Middle Eastern food. [1st American ed.] [New York] Knopf; [distributed by Random House] 1972. [Reprinted in 1974.]
Shahin, Mariam. Palestine : a guide. 1st American ed. Northampton Mass. : Interlink Books, 2005.
Waines, David. In a caliph’s kitchen. London : Riad El-Rayyes, 1989.