Pardiz: A Persian Food Journey

Hardie Grant. Nov. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9781743795194. $45. COOKING
Food and travel writer Darling-Gansser (Under the Olive Tree) seeks to capture the feeling of “paradise” she experienced in Tehran, exploring the traditions of Persian cooking through its past and present, culture of togetherness, ancient wisdom, and diversity of flavors, with an emphasis on recipes that are accessible to the average cook. From the paradise garden of her childhood to the Tajrish market and the Caspian sea, Darling-Gansser arranges each section based on themes rather than flavors or meals, peppering these with plenty of stories and photos from her travels. With an emphasis on history and culture, the text takes readers from the Iran of Darling-Gansser’s memory to the modern day. An index makes it easy to access recipes based on recipe or main ingredient.
VERDICT This is a personal journey as much as a food journey. The work has the feel of a travelog but might delve too close to coffee-table book territory for readers seeking a more traditional cookbook. That being said, the recipes are simple and easy to follow, with most of the ingredients readily accessible, and average cooks can easily find a new flavor to tease the palate.

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