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Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Winner, James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year, International (2017)
Winner, IACP Award for Best Cookbook of the Year in Culinary Travel (2017)

Named a Best Cookbook of the Year by The Boston Globe, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal

“A reason t
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Artisan
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May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, x-2016
I've read so many cookbooks that claim to have Persian recipes or watched food shows with the same claim. All most of them do is add saffron ,fig , pomegranate or rose water to a 10-minute dish and call it "Persian".
Anyway this book doesn't do any of those ridiculous things. It gives you a positive/real view of the cultural of people of Iran, Armenia , Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan plus little tidbit of author's experience in these countries accompanied by the original and traditional recip
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great writing and photography.
I appreciate that she included minor regional variations in spicing, technique, etc.
Stephen Simpson
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook, own
I find that cookbooks that try to cover multiple areas usually end up compromising and giving short shrift to all of them. In this case, the Iranian parts are surprisingly weak. Compensating for that is solid coverage of cuisines in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kurdistan that are by no means well-covered by other cookbooks. There are numerous good (or better) Persian/Iranian cookbooks, but this is a good combination/compromise with the addition of those other areas.

Unlike a lot of these co
Candlewick Books
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Check out my blog for more reviews all things books: DearWilderness & Books

I received this as an arc from Netgalley as an exchange for an honest review.


I grew up to the smells and tastes of my mother's kitchen. There, extraordinary spices would be used from far off places that I only dreamed of going. That was where the family gathered to exchange long-winding stories about their day, question the future, reminiscence over the past. There, my mother would knead the bread, my father would gr
Linda Richardson
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received this as free ebook via Net Galley, thank you to Artisan Books for the opportunity to read this delicious cookbook. I can't want to try making some dishes I haven't had the chance to taste in 30 years! This book is wonderful blend of recipes and a travelogue with photos worthy of National Geographic. It's filled with interesting tidbits of Persian history, current Iranian daily life sprinkled with some of my favorites from this cuisine. 5 stars for Naomi Duguid!
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Collecting the best of regional recipes from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan, like Samarkand, these are regions I have personal connection to. Building on base flavors like tart-sweet apricot and raisin relish (Azerbaijan), Georgian walnut and sour plum sauce, you’ll find a wide array of vegetables (the humble eggplant is a particular favorite in the region and appears in a variety of guises, from grilled eggplant puree and grilled eggplant with pomegranate seeds to fried eggpla ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbook, netgalley, f
Gorgeously illustrated cookbook covering authentic everyday cuisine from ‘Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan.’

The recipes were the type you could believe people would make everyday, nothing too fabricated or fancied up. They just seemed authentic and realizable. Though it feels odd to describe recipes as realizable, anyone who has read about a cuisine that they are not familiar with and felt completely baffled will (hopefully) recognize the sentiment.

The books includes recipes fo
roxi Net
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing


From the beautiful (drool-inducing) cover, to the photos and history contained within the book, it’s all brilliant. I was so grateful that a MAP was included! (apologies if I sound shocked – I just can’t remember the last time I saw a map included in a cookbook). I loved the brief descriptions of the countries which broadened my knowledge immensely. This cookbook really has it all. Oh – yes, it has mouth-watering recipes to make!
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This book might make for a better coffee table book than a cookbook. The photos are absolutely stunning and the short travel vignettes make you want to buy a plane ticket immediately. The recipes are nothing I'd ever make - most are a little too out of my comfort zone - but so many sound delicious that I'd love to have someone else make them for me!
Thank goodness for real books with pages that actually turn and glossy photos to gaze at.

I started reading this in e-book form (with tiny black and white photos) and got the sense that the narrative felt a little dry. I also found it very difficult to leaf back and forth to re-read various recipes/sections but still be able to find my way back to where I had been. So we got the hard-copy version out of the library.

Wow. What a difference! Suddenly, all of the text was fascinating. And the accompa
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What I know about the broader Persian region covered by this cookbook comes from my studies of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East; that is to say, it is limited to basic geography, history, and geopolitics. I know almost nothing about the culture – aside from being able to identify the countries by languages and religions – and even less about their culinary traditions. So I was excited to pick up this boo
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid is a book about cultures, people and food. It is filled with lovely colourful pictures of vegetables, fruits, food, people and places. In other words, the book it's not just a simple cookbook, although it does contain mouth-watering recipes (for breads, meats, grains, sweets, vegetables and beverages). 

The book does not focus only on Iran, but also on Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Kurdistan. Since the author visited all these countries, she also include
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has a large variety of delicious recipes, beautiful photographs, and fantastic prose. The author weaves together the complex histories -culinary and political- of the Middle East with the people and culture and food that makes the region so rich and colorful. Her descriptions of travels through saffron fields and and goat-strewn fruit orchards at sunrise, and photos of turquoise shop-fronts and heaps of spices in shades of ochre and scarlet make me want to pack my bag and head to Kurdi ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early January.

Taste of Persia is a tome of a book, lovingly presented to you in a heap wrapped in homespun cloth before being carefully revealed to you on a flour-dusted kitchen table. Duiguid's stories of shared-source cuisines, journeys and travels, regional histories, and detailed, yet simple recipes are to be applauded (my favorites being spiced
Massimina Ferny
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
really enjoyed this rare in-depth look at Persian and Caucasian cuisine. Entailed a fair amount of travelling and personal contacts of the author to get such a valuable stash of recipes. One learns quite a bit about the heritage of that region also, but then again it's quite niche, so it's probably for those who already have acquired a feel or taste of that region/food--think yoghurt, pomegranates, cheese, herbs, sweet mixed with savoury. makes me wanna hop on a plane this instant.

Worth buying t
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid is a fascinating culinary journey into the secret corners of the kitchens in one of the most interesting regions of the world for me. Singled out by a past of conflicts and a present of political turmoil and insecurities, this region promises instead a tradition of peaceful and extremely diverse meals. Through photography and intensive interractions with the people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and the region of Kurdistan, Naomi Duguid succeeds to presen ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I didn't find recipes that knocked my socks off, as a book of travel writing this one is well worth seeking out. Unique among most cookbooks I've encountered, it contains a detailed bibliography for further reading and its subject is situated geographically amid a volatile political situation that continues to worsen. The portrait of the people, and the food, is vividly written and beautiful.

Duguid is an excellent food writer, and this follows the same lines as another book of hers I enjoy
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I found this book fascinating and the photography interesting. There are only a few recipes I might try but the history and descriptions of the author's travels in the region are enthralling. I might have preferred to see more photos of the completed recipes but the pictures especially of the women she met on her journey are beautiful. My rating is based on the concept of 'a cook's travels' rather than it being a cookbook in the traditional sense.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was so VERY interesting. I felt like I was eating my way through the Middle east. I guess that I enjoyed this book so much because I lived in Pakistan for 3 years when I was a child, and this book took me back. The food looked and sounded so delicious. There were also little sections of the area that provided cool information. Then in the back of the book there were some travel parts that provided pertinent information. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
great book, of particular interest was the author's stories of the regions described via the foods in the book. I know very little about this area, or its native cuisine and A Taste of Persia does a great job of educating about Armenia, Azerbhaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan. The book is divided traditionally into meats, fish, breads, vegies etc. Worth reading. It is also helpful that the author has info on food blogs and websites that augment the book.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Visually stunning with interesting stories, I felt like I should love everything about this book. For some reason it didn't grab me. Maybe it was the complex ingredient lists requiring specialty stores or internet orders. Maybe it was that the descriptions only occasionally appealed. Whatever the case may be, I'll be sending it back to the library shelf for others to enjoy and pass on owning it.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brings Back Many Great Memories

When I lived in Germany in the early 90s I dated a Persian and spent a lot of time in the Persian community. This brought back many wonderful memories and I will enjoy making the recipes.
A delectable journey through a variety of kitchens. Beautiful photos, excellend descriptive recipes, glossary and references, plus travel notes. As close as I'll likely get to the region. I could almost smell the ingredients. Armchair travel meets ethnic cooking.
Matthew Wielgus
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cookbook primarily with the trappings of a travelogue scattered throughout to give context and consideration to the recipes within. Overall a good read for both culinary and cultural interests. Needless to say, interest in the regions discussed should be explored in more pertinent materials.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: culinary
While informative and beautiful, I think I am more interested in cookbooks written by people of the culture.

I did find one wonderful tidbit, one traditional tie. The cuisines of Persia feature vegetables coated in yogurt and topped with fried onions. Sound familiar? :)
Elizabeth Triggs
Travelogue, History, Food Culture

More travelogue and a food history of the region than recipes... while I appreciated this information, there are other cookbooks on the same area where the balance shifts more toward cooking that I personally prefer more.
Chuck Knudsen
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Seems like a solid book with a pretty good picture to recipe ratio, but I was in over my head on page one.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was surprised by the number of regional ingredients that would be hard to source here, but grow wild in southern Arizona where I grew up.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
Oh this needs to be read with caution to make sure you don't immediately get so distracted planning pretend trips to the Black Sea region...
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, travel
Many of the recipes are too complex or fussy for me to want to make at this time, others didn't appeal, but beautiful photos and interesting text along with a few recipes to try.
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Naomi Duguid, traveller, writer, photographer, cook, is often described as a culinary anthropologist.

She is also the author of the acclaimed BURMA: Rivers of Flavor and the co-author of six earlier award-winning books of food and travel: Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through South-East Asia; Seductions of Rice; Flatbreads and Flavors; HomeBaking; Mangoes and Curry Leaves; and Beyond the