Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry
Barbara Abdeni Massaad
published 2018 • 8" x 10" • 592 pages • full-color photos
ISBN 9781566560368 • hardback • $50.00
PRESERVING FOOD AND CULTURE THE LEBANESE WAY
The very best memories connecting us to time and place are often stimulated by the tastes and smells of our childhood. Freshly-baked bread, hot from the oven, sweet homemade jam dribbling down our chins, or the burst of flavor in each dried grape—these memories bring a smile to our faces even as they call to mind the people who made them possible.
Do you remember working alongside your grandmother as she lovingly preserved garden fresh foods to set back for the winter? You watched Jiddo (grandfather) patiently prepare his arak, but could you reproduce his efforts from memory? Are you lucky enough that they kept written records of recipes gleaned from family history and years of experience? If so, count yourself among the very fortunate minority.
The reality for many of us is that we no longer enjoy such a strong connection to our culinary roots. As much as we might wish the contrary, the beauty and simplicity of home-preserved pantry items, the mouneh, taken for granted during our childhood, often seems a lifetime away.
In Barbara Abdeni Massaad’s book, Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry, we’ve been thrown a lifeline to a piece of our cultural and culinary identity. So many things we would love to recreate for our own families become possible within these pages, thanks to the author’s diligent research, stunning photography, simply presented instructions and delightful stories.
Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a food writer, TV host, and the author of several cookbooks, including Man’oushe: Inside the Lebanese Street Corner Bakery and the bestselling Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate our Shared Humanity, which has raised more than $300,000 for food and medical relief for Syrian refugees and was featured on NPR. She is the recipient of the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the International Academy of Gastronomy Award and is a founding member of Slow Food Beirut and an active participant in the International Slow Food movement.
Praise for Mouneh
“Documenting traditions, recipes, and rituals ensures their survival; it is vital work. Barbara Massaad’s beautiful new book Mouneh goes to the heart of Lebanese life. She is a writer and photographer, but above all she is a custodian of a wonderfully rich culture.”—Alice Waters
“I loved Barbara Massaad’s Man’oushe, and I feel the same about her latest book, Mouneh. In both books, she opens up the world of Lebanese gastronomy in a unique way, connecting it to Lebanese culture while providing wonderful mouth-watering recipes. I couldn’t ask for more.” —Paula Wolfert
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