Art And Culture

‘Taste of Persia’ Explores Culinary Traditions

Cover of the bookCover of the book

Canadian food writer Naomi Duguid explores the culinary region of Persia in her new cookbook ‘Taste of Persia’, released in September, escorting readers through villages, markets and into people’s homes.

The book chronicles the rich heritage and culinary cross-influences found throughout the region that centers on Iran but includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iraqi Kurdistan as well, the online newspaper reported.

It is an attractive book with colored photos, recipes with flavorful ingredients like sumac, golden saffron, ripe red pomegranate and fresh nuts and herbs, and stories highlighting her adventures and the people she met.

The region is home to diverse cultures, religions, languages and politics, but you can understand things through the food, says the Ottawa native.

“They’re using ingredients that aren’t very foreign to us although they may be using them slightly differently, and that’s what’s interesting.”

With her insatiable appetite to get behind culture and culinary traditions, she visited the region several times to compile the material for her book.

“I get to see the similarities and differences firsthand. I’m eating things. I’m in people’s kitchens. I’m seeing how they make things. I’m checking,” she said.

Duguid describes the region’s food as agricultural and having “very clean flavors” with herbs playing a big role. Rice is also honored in Persian cooking. Duguid now finds herself using sumac for its sparkling lemony taste.

Beyond the food, her fondest memories stem from the warmth and generosity of the people.

Duguid’s previous book, ‘Burma: Rivers of Flavor’, won a Taste Canada Food Writing Award and the Cookbook Award for Culinary Travel from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 2013.

For more than 20 years, Duguid has been introducing exceptional recipes and mesmerizing tales from lesser known regions.

‘Taste of Persia’, in 400 pages, has been published by the American publisher Artisan Books. It contains nearly 125 recipes, framed with stories and photographs of people and places.


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