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Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen [Anglais] [Broché]

Ayla E. Algar

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Description de l'ouvrage

7 avril 1999

Turkish food is one of the world's great cuisines. Its taste and depth place it with French and Chinese; its simplicity and healthfulness rank it number one. Turkish-born Ayla Algar offers 175 recipes for this vibrant and tasty food, presented against the rich and fascinating backdrop of Turkish history and culture. Tempting recipes for kebabs, pilafs, meze (appetizers), dolmas (those delicious stuffed vegetables or vine leaves), soups, fish, manti and other pasta dishes, lamb, poultry, yogurt, bread, and traditional sweets such as baklava are introduced here to American cooks in accessible form. With its emphasis on grains, vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and other healthful foods, Turkish cooking puts a new spin on familiar ingredients and offers culinary adventure coupled with satisfying and delicious meals.


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Biographie de l'auteur

Ayla Algar, the Mellon Lecturer in Turkish at the University of California, Berkeley, was born and raised in Turkey and visits there often. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle and is the author of The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking, published in England. Her academic background and her lively and articulate interest in the culinary arts of her native land make her extraordinarily well qualified to write on this venerable and delicious cuisine.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  25 commentaires
105 internautes sur 105 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A "MUST HAVE" for those who want to cook authentic Turkish 15 décembre 1998
Par jgokmen@hotmail.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Let me just tell you how good this cookbook is.... When I met the man who would later become my husband, I wanted to impress him by preparing some food from his country. I got this book from the library (and later bought it). I had NO IDEA what Turkish food looked like, tasted like, NOTHING. Zero. I flipped through this book and asked him what he liked. He picked out some foods that he had really been missing since his move to the US. These items also happen to be about the most difficult to make--things most people in Turkey don't make at home anymore because they are easier to buy ready made...I made Baked Manti, Simit (Turkish bagels), and Asure the first night...and apparently I made them so well that the whole Turkish community in my town started showing up for our dinner parties for a taste of home. If a person who had no idea of the cuisine could make food THAT authentic on the first try, then the cookbook MUST be excellent. I have sinced moved to Turkey and after 4 years here, it is still my favorite cookbook above all the others I have.
33 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Historical and Culinary Treatment. Must Buy! 14 février 2005
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
`Classical Turkish Cooking' by Ayla Algar is a great exemplar of what a cookbook describing an important national cuisine should be, if there are few or no other books on the subject in English. At the outset, it is important to point out that the author makes an excellent case for the historical fact that Turkish cuisine, based on a long history of cuisine from the Ottoman empire, which inherited much from the equally important Persian / Iranian cuisine, is a truly interesting food culture, distinctive in enough different ways from the general Eastern Mediterranean milieu to make it worthy of study and emulation.

The Turkish / Ottoman cuisine is in every way a confirmation of the thesis stated most firmly by Paula Wolfert in `Cous Cous and Other Good Food from Morocco' that one of the four requirements for the creation of an important, interesting cuisine is the presence of a sizable nobility and wealthy court in which chefs are well paid to create interesting dishes for the court and for entertaining diplomats to the court. Conspicuous consumption was not invented in the United States. Ms. Algar does us a great service by presenting a very nice thumbnail sketch of the history of the Turkish people who migrated to Asia Minor from central Asia and, on the way, picked up lots of culinary influences from the Iranians in the centuries following the rise of Islam throughout central Asia and the Middle East. Happily, unlike several other historical sketches I have seen recently in books on purportedly important cuisines, Ms. Algar ties her story in with actual culinary information, including linguistic and historical evidence for the origins of many different culinary trends in Turkey. I will not pretend to recount all of this. It is important, however, for your appreciation of this book to realize that this cuisine, and the material in this book reflects food influenced by the full range of the Ottoman empire which, at its peak, stretched from the gates of Vienna to the bottom of the Basra on the Persian Gulf to the outskirts of Fez in Morocco.

The book is subtitled `Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen', however, I do not see a lot of effort devoted to making the recipes friendly to amateur American cooks. In many ways, this may be a good thing in that the author does not loose the `traditional Turkish' of the recipes in deference to what may be easy for the average American household. If it did, it would be much less valuable in our collection of books about traditional cuisines.

Turkish cuisine shares much with the other cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean. There is an especially strong family resemblance between Greek and Turkish recipes, and it is in no way clear in which direction the influence was strongest. While the Greek cuisine is older, it was also heavily influenced by Persian and Phoenician sources, so it is easy to believe that the central role of lamb, yoghurt, sesame, citrus, flatbreads, and very thin pastries all came from some common central Asian source. What is surprising is that while the Christian Greek culture not only allows, but actually encourages a wine culture and the Islamic Turkish culture disallowed wine, both cultures shared a devotion to `meze'. In fact, Ms. Algar traces the origins of meze to the pre-Islamic wine culture of Persia, where the original meze were sweets to counteract the bitter taste of young wine.

While Turkish meze are interesting, the real star of the Turkish cuisine is Borek, a dish which is a cross between filo dough and a baked pasta dish such as lasagna. Ms. Algar gives not just one recipe for Borek, but at least a half dozen from different areas of Turkey. For some of the recipes, Ms. Algar allows the use of either filo dough or frozen puff pastry, but for her two most important recipes for Anatolian and Circassian Borek, Ms. Algar gives us the straight scoop on how to make the real deal, very thin Borek dough similar to fresh egg noodles of northern Italy, but so thin that even a pasta machine set on it's smallest opening will not give you a fine enough dough. And yet, at 1 millimeter thick, it is not yet as thin as filo. So, while it belongs to the same family as Greek pilo and Hungarian strudel, it is not the same. Like fresh pasta in general, it is used to create many different dishes which are baked, fried, or sauteed, depending on filling and shape.

It is no surprise to the reasonably well informed foodie that coffee was a very important part of Turkish culture and cuisine and that coffee culture spread throughout Europe from its center in Istanbul. It is just slightly more surprising that the Turks invented the notion of the café. I take this with a small grain of salt, as I have read of fast food / wine bars in the ruins of Pompeii. What the Turks invented, I suspect, is the shop specializing in the sale of coffee, thereby originating the word `café'. Thus the idea of the casual food store goes back at least to Imperial Rome. It probably goes back to food stands serving the farm workers spending their flood induced vacations working on the pyramids.

Probably the biggest surprise was the fact that flavored sherberts, sorbets, and ices were such a common item in Ottoman courts. We are always so inclined to attribute these to the Italians, yet the Turks seem to have gotten this idea quite on their own, with the resources it took to store ice from the winter or from local mountaintops for a quick summer refreshment.

This is an excellent book and a welcome addition to the collection of anyone who loves to read about world food. It is also a superb source of dishes with healthy ingredients such as nuts, yoghurt, sesame, fruits, and light breads.
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Reference to Turkish Cusine 15 mai 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is a well laid-out guide to Turkish food. MS. Algar provides historic detail, method for unfamiliar techniques, and a good mix of recipes from savory to sweet that have a distinctive Turkish touch. It is a cookbook you can actually sit down and read. While she does not give the technical detail Julia Child brings to her books, this book is not about being a chef, it is about introducing Turkish foods into your home, and is an excellent reference. It also provides recipes for those things you may not find easily available - just how do you make rose water if you can't find it? There is a recipe! I want a copy for my kitchen library, and you might too.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice book in deed 3 mai 2000
Par Fevzi Konduk - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It's a nice book. But there are no pictures in it and for persons that really don't know how it looks, there gone. Im a Turk myself and that doesn't really bother me. I bought this book cause I really can't cook and I don't eat anything else than turkish food. One could say that this is my attempt of learning how to cook and this book has been essensial in that area. If you want lots of turkish food in a single book then this is the book for you..
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 accurate and interesting 20 février 2005
Par P. Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This book is quite accurate and most recipes are designed for those who don't know the ingredients and techniques well. But because of two reasons I don't use this Turkish cookbook often (I have another favorite): First is the lay out. Recipes are not very easy to follow while cooking and you don't know what the outcome would look like (or supposed to look like) since there are no pictures. Second is the lack of detailed explanations. It is definitely not for dummies.
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