Review: Myrna Robins
Saffron in the Souks, by John Gregory-Smith (Kyle Books)
Such an English name penning a cookbook on Lebanese cuisine was my initial reaction; then I found out that Gregory-Smith is a best-selling food and travel writer who specialises in Middle Eastern fare.
He has published four books of recipes highlighting both this and North African cuisine, among them the sweetly named Orange Blossom & Honey.
Vibrant is the thought that comes to mind when contemplating the delectable, colourful food of Lebanon, with its generous use of herbs and spices. Although I have never visited this small country, I have relished several of its classics, thanks to Lebanese chefs and restaurants in the Western Cape.
As the author says, mention Lebanon and images of war are likely to come to mind – and today volatile politics and perilous finances pile additional problems onto a population that is a melting pot of cultures. Muslims, Druze, Christians, Armenians, Syrians and Palestinians have all helped shape the cuisine that started with the Phoenicians in the third millennium BC followed by the Romans in 64BC. Continue reading