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Books Features

Book of the Month: Scents and Flavors

Our Book of the Month for August is Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook, translated by Charles Perry.

This popular thirteenth-century Syrian cookbook is an ode to what its anonymous author calls the “greater part of the pleasure of this life,” namely the consumption of food and drink, as well as the fragrances that garnish the meals and the diners who enjoy them.

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Organized like a meal, Scents and Flavors opens with appetizers and juices and proceeds through main courses, side dishes, and desserts. Apricot beverages, stuffed eggplant, pistachio chicken, coriander stew, melon crepes, and almond pudding are seasoned with nutmeg, rose, cloves, saffron, and the occasional rare ingredient such as ambergris to delight and surprise the banqueter. Bookended by chapters on preparatory perfumes, incenses, medicinal oils, antiperspirant powders, and after-meal hand soaps, this comprehensive culinary journey is a feast for all the senses. You can learn more about the book from the publisher’s website.

It is available for our readers based in the United States and Canada who sign up to our Patreon page at either the $45 (US) or $65 (US) tier between now and the end of July. Then we will send your shipping information to the publisher who will send you the book.

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