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JEFF KOEHLER

  • writer
  • photographer
  • cook
  • traveler
July 9th, 2012

Publishers Weekly review of Morocco

A slightly belated posting of Publishers Weekly review of Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes.

Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora

Some international cookbooks stimulate appetites and others induce wanderlust—this survey of Moroccan cuisine does both. Food writer and photographer Jeff Koehler (Rice Pasta Couscous; La Paella) captures the complexity of his subject matter with the exacting detail of a scholar and the color and sensuality of a spice market. A brief historical overview is followed by regional guides that cover the country’s diverse geographic territories, from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines to the Sahara desert. Setting the stage for modern cooks, he covers some suggested pantry items (argan oil; 12 different kinds of dates; the spice blend ras el hanout) and equipment (couscoussier; tagine). The more than 70 recipes reflect the variety of cultural traditions carried over from Arab (stuffed phyllo pastry), Berber (blistered flatbread), and Spanish inhabitants (mussels in tomato sauce). Emblematic dishes like tomato-based harira soup, chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, and seven-vegetable couscous are included alongside street eats like snails in broth and a contemporary update on lamb tagine featuring oranges, saffron, and candied orange peel. The sumptuous photographs complete the almost-like-being-there experience. Photos. (June)

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