Official Review: Jewels of Persia - Exotic Dishes from th...

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Official Review: Jewels of Persia - Exotic Dishes from th...

Post by L_Therese » 21 Dec 2017, 18:01

[Following is an official review of "Jewels of Persia - Exotic Dishes from the Ancient Land" by Sharon Marie B-Nejad.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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In many cultures, food is an important element for daily living, health, and building relationships with others. In her cookbook, Jewels of Persia, author Sharon B-Nejad shares her knowledge of Iranian food and culture with a primarily “Western” readership. From the front cover to the index at the back, the book is stuffed with far more than just recipes.

Although this is first and foremost a recipe collection, the author opens the book with an introduction to Persian (Iranian) food culture. This includes an overview of the cuisine and the way people interact with preparing and consuming their food. The author specifically addresses common flavor profiles, cultural food restrictions, and the importance of hospitality.

The author takes time to introduce her reader to many of the ingredients found in the recipes. Sections like “Some New Ones” and “Pantry Staples” include a few ingredients with which readers may already have some familiarity along with ingredients that are less common outside of Iran. These introductions include photographs of the actual food item along with a sentence or two about what it tastes like and how it is most commonly used. There are also specialized pages with specific focuses such as spices, flatbreads, or utensils.

Interspersed among all the other pages are beautiful photographs exhibiting Persian culture. These sometimes have little to do with the nearby content but might showcase carpets, bazaars, or World Heritage sites. At other times, the photographs will focus on food and contain a text box with an interesting fact or a quick tip for cooking Persian-style. The author also includes occasional tips on the recipe pages if they might be helpful for purposes such as accommodating the lack of a specialized tool. There was an occasional repeat but only because the tip might be helpful in more than one recipe. After all, most readers are probably not reading straight through the book but flipping through to find an enticing recipe.

In terms of formatting, each page was set up as an image regardless of whether the page was primarily filled with text or with a photograph. Although this may have made it easier to fill the book with absolutely stunning pictures, it made it extremely difficult to read. The text was very small and with a “serif” font. Some picture captions appeared to be the product of a typewriter. These tended to have less contrast with the page and were often nearly impossible to read. My device was not able to increase the font size because the page was formatted as an image. I have an alternate device that can also read Kindle books, but the book was totally unreadable on that one. Even on the superior device, I was squinting at the page the entire time. While this format would be amenable for a print book, it would be nearly impossible to actually reference this book while preparing a recipe from it, since glancing at a page would not be feasible.

I would like to be able to give this book a four star rating. The book is informative, and the recipes look delicious. The photos share the culture with a sophistication that appears professional. However, because of the formatting choice, it was extremely difficult to read the book in order to discern these qualities. For a four star rating, the author/publisher should consider either re-formatting the book in order to make it more e-reader-friendly or offering it only in print editions. As it is, I can only rate Jewels of Persia 3 out of 4 stars because it is simply too physically difficult to read.

Jewels of Persia - Exotic Dishes from the Ancient Land
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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Dec 2017, 11:50

Oooh! I love cookbooks where the author introduces the culture and gives tidbits like that! I'm not sure if I would be able to use these as I'm a pretty simple cook. Still, it would probably be worth a look. Thanks for the review.
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Post by ladycraic » 22 Dec 2017, 18:47

I think this would be a great cook book to have, especially since I'm aiming to live a healthier lifestyle and break out of my little bubble of Nigerian and Western Cuisine. Learning about a different culture is always fun. Thanks for the informative review - it's a bummer that the formatting isn't all that great.

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Post by Dildar khan » 22 Dec 2017, 23:04

This book is full of recipes nd type of foods make our day o that's the true thing.. Nd nt only recipes it also concerns available common utensils used for recipes... [/i]

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 23 Dec 2017, 04:56

Well! I have never read a cook book. What attracted me the most was that this is not just a cookbook but the way the author entwined the culture with food to make the reader understand what he/she is reading effectively. This compelled me to keep a star note on it. Thank you for your review!
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Post by HOSEANYATU » 23 Dec 2017, 08:50

yes my side i like the food of different culture .It is nice book

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Post by Mimi Sassy » 25 Dec 2017, 05:49

when I saw Jewel of Persia I never thought is gonna be a cook book but with the fusion of culture is beautiful

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Post by pinklover » 26 Dec 2017, 01:30

The title of the book make me crave for food. I want to try their foods according to their culture. Nice review as well as the book.
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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 26 Dec 2017, 21:21

I sympathize with your difficulty in the reading of the book on your device. I have no idea yet how the book would fare on my own reading device. I could not help but admire your eruditely written review. It inadvertently divulges the knowledge and literary skill of the reviewer. And although I am more on the "tasting" aspect than on the "cooking," I opine the book is worth its space on my bookshelf. And I trust there are plenty of culinary herbs in the recipes for I am more inclined to organic ingredients. Thanks for your review.
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Post by Peskeric » 27 Dec 2017, 06:36

I'm sure this book will play an integral part in my daughter's like who's in studying in Hospitality and hotel industry.
I sheared the preview immediately she fell in love with the book.
We'll, through this book one can visit Iran without a plane ticket.
For those who have to try new recipes I'm they'll love this Author. Sharon Marie B Nejad

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Post by BookHausJ » 29 Dec 2017, 05:07

This is the first time that I have learned that a cook book written on a different style. While learning some food to cook at the same time learning the culture of other country. Great review! Thanks!

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 30 Dec 2017, 08:33

I have never come across a cook book like this kind but I find this worth reading to me. Thank you for your review.
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Post by Lover » 05 Jan 2018, 04:09

Nice book I like it....

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 03 Feb 2018, 20:26

Too bad about the formatting errors as this seems like it could have been a beautiful visual experience as well as a culinary one. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Tajmagica » 20 Feb 2018, 06:31

Love your review! It made me want to read the book. Thank you!

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