Review by Rozanne Gold
August, 21, 2014
"Many scholars place the Biblical "Eden" in a massive oasis in southern Iraq. The book, its illustrations, photographs and design, is generous and thoughtful and guides your historical journey through Ms. Nasrallah's personal lens - Eden itself as a metaphor of pleasure and poetry. "
NPR's All Things Considered host Brady Carlson talks with Nawal Nasrallah about Delights from the Garden of Eden:
Nawal Nasrallah is author of the book Delights from The Garden Of Eden, which not only includes Iraqi recipes but traces the history of the country’s cuisine. Saveur magazine named it one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2013.
Nasrallah talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the staples of Iraqi food, from stew and rice to a barbecued fish dish known as masgouf, and why she felt the need to write about Iraq's culinary traditions during a difficult period for the country.
Times Literary Supplement review by Eamonn Gearon, 1 Nov. 2013:
"A splendid achievement, Delights from the Garden of Eden is obviously a labour of love, and the author has done readers, cooks and noncooks alike, a great service in producing such an impressive book. Each page shows erudition, every recipe a passion for food."
By Vered Guttman
Radio interview with Linda Pelaccio, host of A Taste of the Past for the Heritage Radio Network, NY, first aired May 23, 2013:
(Also follow link to my BLOG)
Nawal Nasrallah joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to celebrate the new edition of her book, Delights from the Garden of Eden. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda and Nawal delve into the history of Iraqi cuisine and the Sumerians. Learn about some of the world's oldest recipes written on cuneiform tablets. Learn about the importance of stews in the Iraqi diet! How did traditional, medieval-influenced Iraqi recipes change with the discovery of the New World? Tune into this episode to learn more about cooking techniques for masgouf! Find out how Nawal blends ancient, medieval, and modern recipes in her book!
Griling a couple of whole salmons, masgouf way, in the backyard, under the watchful eys of Otis:
Saudi Aramco World review by Tom Verde, Sept/Oct. 2013:
"Already respected among food historians for her translation of the 10th-century Baghdadi cookbook Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens, Nasrallah is sure to gain more acclaim with this significant contribution to the culinary history of the Middle East."
Delights from the Garden of Eden by Nawal Nasrallah – Our Book Review
Posted on December 8, 2013 by Miriam Kresh in Book Reviews, Lifestyle.
“Want to get close to Iraqi food traditions and culture? This cook book is for you. Lyrical memoirs of the author’s childhood in Iraq, and the place that food had in that culture, drift through the pages, pausing for sidebars that offer tidbits like four paragraphs on ancient wives in ancient kitchens.”
The Kitchen book review, posted by Emma Christensen, August 5, 2013:
“I am totally fascinated by this book. Nowhere have I seen such a comprehensive collection of Iraqi recipes, particularly ones so solidly framed in their historic context. I was a history minor in college, and this book makes me want to pull out my highlighter and dig deep. And of course, I love seeing all the recipes — some of them slight variations on other Middle Eastern recipes that I love, some of them totally new. They are written here as they've been made for centuries, and yet I found the dishes and the ingredients needed to make them to be very accessible.”
Interview in Arabic with Iraqi novelist Mahmoud Saeed
محمود سعيد : نكهات لذيذة يفوح شذاها من جنّات عدن
قراءة في كتاب لذائذ جنّة عدن، للكاتبة د. نوال نصر الله
ليس كتاب طبخ عاديّ بل هو سجلّ حضارة ازدهرت وأورفت ظلّاً ساد العالم القديم، إضافة إلى أنّ الكتاب يحوي مئات الوصفات الرّائعة التي اشتهر بها مطبخنا العراقيّ العريق، وقبل تصفّح روائع هذا السّفر الهائل يتوقّف القارئ أمام ملاحظات رئيسة تفرض عليه عشرات الأسئلة التي تكشف طبيعة المؤلفة، هذه بعضها: 1- أيّ جهد متعب مضنٍ خلّاق بذلته المؤلفة لإنجاز كتاب من 574 صفحة، بحجم كبير، وبخطّ ناعم، أيّ بما يعادل ألفي صفحة من الحجم العادي. 2- أيّ ثقافة عميقة شاملة موسوعيّة تمتعت بها الكاتبة لتنجز مثل هذا العمل العظيم. 3- أيّ قدرة هائلة على تجميع صور نادرة للعراق قديمه وحديثه؟ 4- أيّ حبّ ووطنيّة تتلبس هذه الإنسانة الفريدة؟
SAVEUR (161) December 2013, p. 24) chooses Delights from the Garden of Eden as one of top 10 cookbooks for the year 2013.
“Nasrallah's authoritative Iraqi cookbook features regional recipes such as allspice sausages, turnips simmered in date syrup, and dill cookies. Asides on history and folklore, as well as 10th-century food poems, add rich cultural context.” —Felicia Campbell
Interview with shakomako.net, an independent digital magazine about everythin Iraqi. With recipe of mtabbag simach (layered fish). June 5, 2013
Ramadan in Iraq
Interview with Chef Dima Sharif, with recipe of Dijaj bil-Timman il-Ahmar (chicken with red rice),
and dessert of Halawat Sha'riyya (sweet and golden vermicelli noodles). July 10, 2013
Delights from the Garden of Eden features in Jerusalem Post
"Marag Makes the Meal"
By FAYE LEVY AND YAKIR LEVY
"The time-honored stew was not always cooked the way it is today". With recipes of stews of white beans and green beans.
KCRW Good Food
Thanksgiving Recipe: ‘Iraqi Style’ Turkey and Stuffing, Posted November 18, 2013 by Caroline Chamberlain:
“Make your turkey happy this year! Stuff it Iraqi-style”
Banipal, magazine of modern Arab lterature, vol. 48
Margaret Obank reviews Delights:
"Nawal has brought together scholarship, personal motivation through tragedy and love of cooking to produce this unsurpassable volume detailing the culinary traditions and recipes of the Assyrian Empire, Mesopotamia and Iraq, in addition to giving readers a chance to enjoy al-Warraq's comments and anecdotes as well as recipes. "
Review by James blake Wiener, October 2014
" a fine introduction to the history and diversity of Iraqi cuisine. Lavishly illustrated, supremely informative, and deeply personal, Narallah’s publication is far more than an average cookbook or culinary history; instead, it’s an adventurous exploration of Iraq’s colorful past through food history.
This title is unique in not only its breadth – Nasrallah covers everything from exotic ancient desserts to refreshing medieval beverages – but also the way in which recipes are presented in tandem with a sociocultural and historical context."
Review by editors of
Kitchen Jounals, October 2014
Immerse yourself with endless plates full of delicious food and stories of a land and its people so rich with history it will astound you. A delight in deed.
They say immersion is the best way to learn about a people and their culture, and a large part of culture is cuisine. Imagine strolling the streets of Baghdad with a historian on one side, a gastronome on the other, and the locals rushing up to greet you with homemade dishes, and you have Delights from the Garden of Eden.
Ms. Nasrallah has done for Iraqi cuisine what Julia Childs did for French cooking, but to the nth degree. There are over 400 recipes to be explored, hundreds of beautiful images, and text so meticulous and thoughtful, it could have only been written by someone with incredible knowledge and passion.
My book of Delights selected as a Bedtime Story by
Washington Independent Review of Books (October 2015)