Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon

Interlink. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781623718534. $35. COOKING
Part travelogue and part cookbook, this ode to Lebanon provides a glimpse into the country and its famous cuisine. Lebanese-born photographer and author Massaad’s (Soup for Syria; Man’oushé) gorgeous images document daily life, including the people, places, and food that makes Lebanon special. She also reflects on the political and economic strife in Lebanon and how it impacts the Lebanese people, including the recent port explosion disaster, as she writes about the resilience of the Lebanese culture and its foodways. One hundred classic recipes are delivered with history and personal narratives, which are a pleasure to read and work perfectly with the visual story. The recipes cover the bases for a traditional mezze from hummus to kibbeh, along with adaptations that are often seasonal or vegetarian. Dishes feature ingredients that reflect the diversity of the regions and people; most recipes include variations or suggestions for pairing and developing a menu.
VERDICT Recommended for cookbook readers, armchair travelers, and those looking to learn more about Lebanese cuisine.
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