Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies

ISBN 10: 193382347X / ISBN 13: 9781933823478
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Synopsis: Completely redesigned for today's generation of cooks and food enthusiasts, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij provides a treasure trove of recipes, along with an immersive cultural experience for those seeking to understand this ancient and timeless cuisine. This edition is a more user-friendly edition of the award-winning and critically acclaimed cookbook series which began in 1986. Food of Life provides 330 classical and regional Iranian recipes as well as an introduction to Persian art, history, and culture. The book's hundreds of full color photographs are intertwined with descriptions of ancient and modern Persian ceremonies, poetry, folktales, travelogue excerpts and anecdotes. The 2011 Edition of Food of Life is a labor of love. The book began in exile after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 as a love letter to Batmanglij's children. Today, as accomplished adults in their own fields, her two sons, Zal and Rostam, encouraged her to redesign the book for their generation.

Food of Life propels Persian cooking into the 21st Century, even as it honors venerable traditions and centuries of artistic expression. It is the result of 30 years of collecting, testing and adapting authentic and traditional Persian recipes for the American kitchen. Most of its ingredients are readily available throughout the U.S. enabling anyone from a master chef to a novice to reproduce the refined tastes, textures, and beauty of Persian cuisine. Food-related pieces from such classics as the 10th century Book of Kings, and 1,001 Nights to the miniatures of Mir Mosavvar and Aq Mirak, from the poetry of Omar Khayyam and Sohrab Sepehri to the humor of Mulla Nasruddin are all included. Each recipe is presented with steps that are logical and easy to follow. Readers learn how to simply yet deliciously cook rice, the jewel of Persian cooking, which, when combined with a little meat, fowl, or fish, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, provides the perfect balanced diet.

ABOUT THE BOOK'S TITLE
Food of Life,
the title of the book, comes from the Persian words nush-e jan, literally "food of life"--a traditional wish in Iran that a dish will be enjoyed. For the updated 1993 edition the title was changed to New Food of Life. Now, for the 25th anniversary edition the title returns to its original name, Food of Life.

The full-color Food of Life 25th Anniversary Edition contains 50% more pages than its 2009 predecessor and special added features:
*New Recipes adapted from Sixteenth-Century Persian cookbooks
*Added vegetarian section for most recipes
*Comprehensive dictionary of all ingredients
*A glance at a few thousand years of the history of Persian Cooking
*Master recipes with photos illustrating the steps.
*Color photos of most recipes with tips on presentation
*Updated section on Persian stores and Internet suppliers
*Fahrenheit and Centigrade temperatures for all recipes
*Choices for cooking recipes such as kuku in oven or on stovetop.
*Encourages use of seasonal and local ingredients from farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) sources or one's own backyard

From the Inside Flap: Cooking plays important roles in every culture, but Persian cuisine can claim a relationship to its native land that is uniquely deep and intricate. This book celebrates the central place of food in the life of Iran, a story extending back almost 4,000 years, when recipes were first recorded in a cuneiform script on clay tablets. At the same time, Food of Life--updated and expanded in this new edition--is designed to be used by today's cook. It provides a veritable treasury of recipes: 330 in all, presented in an easy to-follow format, along with standard variations and, in many cases, a vegetarian version. The title of the book comes from the words nush-e jan, literally "food of life"--a traditional wish in Iran that a dish will be enjoyed.

Along with daily gifts of pleasure, Persian cooking has figured intimately in numerous Iranian festivals and ceremonies. The menus and recipes associated with such events are described in Food of Life in detail, from the winter solstice celebration, Shab-e Yalda, or the "sun's birthday eve," to the rituals and symbolism involved in a modern Iranian marriage. Also woven through this book are many examples of how food has inspired artists, poets, and other luminaries of Persian culture. The book includes the miniatures of Mir Mosavvar and Aqa Mirak; excerpts from such classics as the fourth-century tale Khosrow and His Knight, the tenth-century Book of Kings, and the Thousand and One Nights; poems by Omar Khayyam, Rumi, and Sohrab Sepehri; and the humor of Mulla Nasruddin.

Even as it honors venerable traditions and centuries of artistic expression, Food of Life propels Persian cooking into the twenty-first century. Today, with most of the ingredients in this book's recipes readily available throughout the U.S., anyone can reproduce the refined tastes, textures, and beauty of this great cuisine-- ancient, and also timeless.

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