review: Taste of Beirut: 175+ Delicious Lebanese Recipes from Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes and More by Joumana Accad

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I devoured this book. Heh heh heh.

My wit is blinding!

Anyway, I really did. I read this super quickly, and then went back through and highlighted recipes I want to try immediately. This book is an interesting one for me, because I mainly follow a LCHF (low carb / high fat) diet, and of course, staples of Lebanese food are pita breads, grains, chickpeas, etc. However, there are still tons of options for all diets – including vegetarians, and Accad gives easy substitutions and allows room for cooks to play around with the recipes. I love that.

Accad begins with a helpful and informative guide to Lebanese cooking. In fact, most of the recipes begin with a note about how particular foods fit into life in Beirut. It’s lovely and really adds to the experience of reading the recipes. They’re not just collections of ingredients – they’re building blocks of culture and life and memory.

Thankfully, many of the recipes are simple, and most only require a few ingredients. Some are obscure of course, but I do think they’d be easily found in ethnic stores. It may require a little treasure hunting, but that can be fun!

I’m most excited to try anything with tahini (oh, how I love that golden condiment!) but especially the Tarator sauce (which Accad says the Lebanese use like mayonnaise) and the Muhammara. I’m also going to use this cookbook as a basis for a dinner party and create a Mezzes for guests, so they can sample the various dips (especially the hummus with meat – yum!) and pastries.

All in all, a gorgeous cookbook with SO many options – a wonderful gift for the chef in your life, or a delightful addition to your kitchen. I highly recommend it. Can’t wait to start cooking! 5 Delicious Stars.