Memories of a Lost Egypt
A food-centric memoir of Cairo from the 1940's has just
been published: Memories of a Lost Egypt, by Colette
Rossant (Potter). She weaves a wonderful family tale in
which the recollections of luscious meals are
supplimented by the recipes themselves. Her kofta
(meatballs) has an apricot sauce. I am weak in the
knees from reading such dishes and must now begin
cooking from this splendid book. Another important
account of Egypt, Alexandria\ this time (without
recipes), can be found in André Aciman's Out of Egypt.
Another book with similar themes is Claudia Roden's
first cookbook, A Book of Middle Eastern Food.
Although a cookbook (and a wonderful one at that) and
not a memoir, many of her recipes are interwoven with
memories of growing up in an Egyptian Jewish family
before having to leave in the 1950s.
re: Alan Divack
Also, Roden's recent compendium of Jewish food and food
history has excellent discussion and recipes on the
Alexandrian community and its links with other
Sephardic communities. The book as a whole is terrific
-- but the Sephardic section is outstanding, and
includes some extraordinary recipes from the Goanese
and Bombay communities.