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The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean: 215 Healthy, Vibrant, and…

by Paula Wolfert

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282374,050 (4.1)4
Winner of the James Beard Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award

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For years I looked for a recipe for something a deli I used to go to called the "Megaderra Sandwich." I knew it was refried lentils and onions, wrapped in a flatbread, but could NOT find a recipe for "megaderra" anywhere. Finally I stumbled upon the connection between "megaderra" and "megadarra" and "mujadarrah," and also found out that about 80% of the recipes online for any of the above led back to this book--which I had owned for several years at that point and had somehow NEVER OPENED. I don't even know where I got it.

Anyway, I immediately made the megadarra (which was fantastic), and then started enjoying the book. Paula Wolfert's writing about the food and how she got the recipes through her travels is just wonderful; it's truly an education. The recipes are simple and fresh, often made with only a few ingredients, and the salad recipes are especially a treat. There's a whole chapter on kibbeh, which I don't care for, but I know a couple of kibbeh enthusiasts who would probably be as excited about that as I was about the megadarra.

If you're looking for something different than a "Mediterranean diet"-type cookbook, try to find this book. It's a winner. ( )
  VintageReader | Jul 9, 2017 |
I found this anecdote-laden book fascinating, but the recipes required too much time or too many exotic ingredients to be really practical. I got very frustrated. I think you need to be something of a food hobbyist to manage these recipes unless you live near a Middle Eastern grocery. BTW, Wolfert's definition of "Eastern Mediterranean" means Slavic Macedonia and northern Greece, Turkey, the Levant, and the Republic of Georgia. It's her book, she can call it whatever she wants. ( )
1 vote IreneF | Dec 13, 2008 |
Great book, interesting recipes, some 'travel tales'. ( )
1 vote bibliophage | Jan 10, 2006 |
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Winner of the James Beard Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award

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