Last week was a busy week for me at work. Thursday evening I came home very late after an event and guess what was waiting for me on the dining room table. If you guessed a copy of Paula Wolfert’s new book The Food of Morocco, you’re right. I had been hoping that it would come before we left for Morocco so that I could take a peek and let you know what I thought. So what did I think.
I love it.
No really I love it.
This is my third cookbook from Paula Wolfert and it’s my favorite. One of the first “real” cookbooks I got was a gift from my grandma – it was Paula’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. It was that book that I credit with keeping my husband here in the US with me instead of going home due to starvation. The Food of Morocco takes that cookbook a few steps forward.
What originally struck me was the images along with the food. There are a lot of pictures of great food but there’s also pictures of everyday life in Morocco. The sidebars are peppered with literary quotes from the likes of Paul Bowles and Edith Wharton. This IS Morocco in a book. It’s the words, the sights, the flavors and the stories of the country. Paula’s gift of storytelling shines through in the descriptions given of each dish. It’s so reminiscent of the street performers of Marrakech telling their tales in the night markets of Djem al Fna.
The recipes themselves are the classics and the lesser known recipes that make up Moroccan cookery. The majority of the dishes will be easy for even a novice cook to pull off. The more complex recipes are broken into steps and even have hand drawn diagrams to make the steps more clear. While I love Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco there are plenty of recipes that include organ meat I was happy to find that those recipes are few and far between in The Food of Morocco. While the die-hard foodie indulges in such delicacies many home cooks especially in the American audience are turned off immediately to those recipes. As with all of the other Paula Wolfert cookbooks I’ve used, these recipes are tried and true – and delicious!
This book is a delight for it’s value as a cookbook that encompasses the width and breadth of Moroccan cooking but also as a travelogue of sorts. I highly recommend it for those who loving making Moroccan food but also for those who simply love Morocco. The images and stories are worth the price even if you never attempt a recipe!
This cookbook can currently be pre-ordered before the October 4th official release date. Amazon currently has The Food of Morocco on sale for $28.22 (retail is $45 for the 500+ page book!) If you’d like to connect with Paula Wolfert you can do it on her Facebook group Moroccan Cooking or on Twitter.
I was not compensated for this review however I did receive an advance copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own based on my reading and use of this cookbook.