Poison Pen Press

Arabic and Middle Eastern Material

Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook - $70.00

Translated, with introduction & glossary, by Nawal Nasrallah.  Written nearly 1,000 years ago, al-Warraq’s cookbook is the most comprehensive work of its kind. The book includes more than 600 recipes from the luxurious cuisine of medieval Islam. Numerous anecdotes and poems spotlight the role of food in Islam’s golden era. Introducing this elegant translation is a thorough survey of the period’s food culture. Includes an extensive glossary, in Arabic & English, of ingredients and dishes. Appendix of historical figures. PAPER, 876 pp, with over 30 color illos. Brill

Baghdad Cookery Book - $19.95
Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Baghdadi, newly translated by Charles Perry.
This book was for long the only medieval Arabic cookbook known to the English-speaking world, thanks to A. J. Arberry’s 1939 translation. Charles Perry, working from the original ms, has produced a new English translation incorporating many amendments and corrections, fully annotating his variations from Daoud Chelebi’s earlier transcription. 128p, Prospect Books

Delights From The Garden of Eden; A cookbook & History of the Iraqi Cuisine - $49.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Nawal Nasrallah. Originally self-published in 2003, this book by renowned Middle Eastern expert Nasrallah became an underground bestseller. This new edition, fully revised and updated, shows the diversity of the region’s traditional food. Traces the development of Iraqi cuisine from ancient Mesopotamia to the present. Profusely illustrated. Hardcover, more than 400 recipes, 574 pp. Equinox Publishing.


Life Along the Silk Road - $24.95
Susan Whitfield. Concentrates on the lives of 10 individuals during the period AD 750 - 1000, focusing heavily on China, but covering the area of the Silk Road. Although some of these people are historic, others are composites used to illustrate the lives of similar people during the period. Events are all taken from contemporary sources. Extensive index, Table of Rulers 739-960 (Frankish, Byzantine, Arab, Tibetan, Turkish/Uighur, Chinese). pb, 242pp, 8 pages color, 8 b/w illus. University of California Press.

Medieval Arab Cookery - $75.00
This long-awaited book contains papers by Maxime Rodinson & Charles Perry, as well as a reprint of A.J. Arberry's translation of "A Baghdad Cookery Book" [kitab al-Tibakhah, a 15th century cookbook.] Also includes Charles Perry's new translation of kitab Wasf al-At'ima al-Mu'tada. Foreword by Claudia Roden. 300pp. Prospect Books.

Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World - $26.95

Lilia Zaouali, translated by M B DeBevoise, with a foreword by Charles Perry. This concise history, a delightful culinary adventure that is part history and part cookbook, surveys the gastronomical art that developed at the Caliph’s sumptuous palaces in ninth and tenth century Baghdad, drew inspiration from Persian, Greco-Roman, and Turkish cooking, and rapidly spread across the Mediterranean. In a charming narrative, Zaouali brings to life Islam’s vibrant culinary heritage. She further considers cookware, utensils, aromatic substances, and condiments. The book also gathers an extensive selection of original recipes drawn from medieval culinary sources, as well as contemporary recipes that evoke the flavors of the Middle Ages. Paper, 238pp, 32 color illustrations. University of California Press

Ni’matnama of the Sultan of Mandu - $44.95

The Ni'matnama is a late fifteenth-century book of the recipes of the eccentric Sultan of Mandu (Madhya Pradesh), Ghiyath Shahi, collected and added to by his son and successor, Nasir Shah. It contains recipes for cooking a variety of delicacies and epicurean delights, as well as providing remedies and aphrodisiacs for the Sultan and his court. It also includes important sections on the preparation of betel leaves as well as advice on the logistics of hunting expeditions and warfare. The text provides a remarkable and tantalizing account of rarified courtly life in a fifteenth-century Indian Sultanate region. PB, 544pp.

New Persian Kitchen - $24.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Louisa Shafia. A sumptuous volume based on the seasonal foods of Iran. Features dozens of recipes for traditional and modern dishes. Hardcover, 208pp, numerous illustrations. Random House.

Scheherazade’s Feasts - $19.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Habeeb Salloum, Mina Salloum, & Leila Salloum-Elias. The author of the thirteenth-century Arabic cookbook Kitāb al-abīkh proposed that food was among the foremost pleasures in life. Scheherazade's Feasts invites adventurous cooks to test this hypothesis. From the seventh to the thirteenth centuries, the influence and power of the medieval Islamic world stretched from the Middle East to the Iberian Peninsula, and this Golden Age gave rise to great innovation in gastronomy no less than in science, philosophy, and literature. The medieval Arab culinary empire was vast and varied: with trade and conquest came riches, abundance, new ingredients, and new ideas. The emergence of a luxurious cuisine in this period inspired an extensive body of literature: poets penned lyrics to the beauty of asparagus or the aroma of crushed almonds; nobles documented the dining customs obliged by etiquette and opulence; manuals prescribed meal plans to deepen the pleasure of eating and curtail digestive distress. Drawing on this wealth of material, this book presents more than 100 recipes for food and drink of all kinds, easy to follow and delicious. Hardcover, 256 pp, University of Pennsylvania Press


Sherbet & Spice: the complete story of Turkish sweets & Desserts - $28http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Mary Isin. "The Turks have been famous for their sweet tooth since the days when so many confectioners worked at the Topkapi Palace that they had their own mosque. Sweets permeate Turkish life. Mary Isin has gathered a mountain of information on this rich subject--recipes from the Middle Ages to the present, science, history, and folkways. It’s a sweet read, says Charles Perry. One hundred sculpted sugar lions, baklava the size of cartwheels a thousand layers thick, helva made in memory of the dead, rose jam in a hundred pots of Dresden china, violet sherbet for the sultan, and parrots addicted to sugar . . . the stories behind Turkey's huge variety of sweets and puddings, valued not only for their taste but as symbols of happiness, good fortune, and goodwill, are as fascinating as their flavor. This riveting exploration of their history and role in Turkish culture is a voyage of adventure, taking us from the sultan's palace to the homes of ordinary people in Turkey's villages and towns, and beyond to Central Asia, Persia, Arabia, and Egypt. 256pp, HC. I B Tauris


Sweet Delights from a Thousand and One Nights: The Story of Traditional Arab Sweets - $29.00http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Habeeb and Mina Salloum, Leila Salloum Elias. A celebration of the lesser-known culinary sweets combines traditional recipes, modern versions, and rich cultural stories from the 10th through the 14th centuries while tracing the development and influence of sweet dishes throughout non-Arabic lands. Hardcover, 272 pp, index, extensive bibliog., glossary, 32 color photos. I.B. Tauris



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