My passion for collecting cookbooks is widely-known, especially Armenian cookbooks or any that reflect a similar cuisine. Even in today’s electronic age, I enjoy holding a cookbook in my hand, turning it page by page.
|My Christmas gifts – 3 new Cookbooks!
You can imagine how thrilled I was to find not one, but THREE new cookbooks under the Christmas tree to add to my growing collection. (Santa – a.k.a. my husband – really hit the mark this year… I wonder how he knew!)
The first package I opened revealed ‘Flavors with History – Armenian Cuisine’, from the AGBU that was translated from Spanish into English. According to Diana Kaprielian Sarafian, Chairlady of the Ladies Committee of the AGBU, the purpose in preparing this cookbook, was “to reach young generations, including those that not knowing their predecessors’ language, identify themselves with the Armenian culture through the flavors that were captured and kept in their taste memory since childhood.” Kaprielain Sarafian goes on to say, “by publishing the book, we also express our recognition to the Armenian people’s survival, to their nationalism, their faith, and respect for their traditions and customs.”
The AGBU cookbook is arranged according to geographic regions each with a menu representing that area. For example: Urfa, a brief history of the region, then its menu with photos – in this case, borani (chickpea and spinach stew), semsek (open fried pie) and mamunia (syrupy cinnamon semolina).
The second cookbook, ‘Armenian Cuisine’, was co-authored by Aline Kamakian, co-owner of Mayrig restaurant in Beirut, and Barbara Drieskens. Besides a fabulous assortment of delectable recipes and mouth-watering photos, the authors offer insight to a bit of history from numerous regions which represent the homelands of those who contributed to the making of this cookbook.
My third gift is a Persian cookbook, ‘Persian Cuisine – Traditional, Regional, and Modern Foods’, by M.R. Ghanoonparvar. In his introduction, Mr. Ghanoonparvar states, “The cuisine of every nation is a way of celebrating culture.” With beautiful visuals and clear, concise recipes, I’m looking forward to trying these recipes –adding an Armenian twist, of course!