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Jan 2, 2007 01:38 AM

Arabesque by Claudia Roden: How does it compare?

Can anyone compare Claudia Roden's Arabesque cookbook to the New Book of Middle Eastern Food? I saw a copy of Arabesque at the store the other everining and the recipes looked wonderful. But I wonder if they are sufficiently different from NBMEF, or if they are jazzier versions of the same dishes? Thamks for any thoughts!


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  1. I have both books and I think they cover different territory. Arabesque focuses on three countries - Turkey, Morocco and Lebanon. The Middle Eastern book is more generally Arabic IMO. I think there is overlap between Arabesque and some of Paula Wolfert's books, especially the Eastern Mediterranean one but also the Couscous book. If you don't have PW's earlier books, Arabesque might be a good addition to your library. Of course I do have most of PW's books but had to have Arabesque because I'm a cookbook junkie.

    1. I got Arabesque for Christmas and I am enjoying reading through. It has lots of historical and cultural information and is extremely well written.

      Please let us know if you have tried the recipes. I have just finished the Morocco section, and they all look delicious.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fleur

        Claudia Roden is a marvelous author. Her books always have interesting info and some have great photos (e.g. old sepia prints in the Book of Jewish Food - think that's the name). I also love Paula Wolfert and her books the best of all for her amazing recipes. Try the potato pancake thing stuffed with greens and cheese from Med. Greens and Grains (I think). Knocked my socks off.

      2. Great, thanks for the info! It looks like a great book, but I couldn't tell if the dishes were just newer interepreations of the older book. I too am interested to hear if you cook anything from it.


        1. I just bought it the other day too. I was looking specifically for Ana Sortun's book called "Spice" but they were out of stock. Picked Arabesque up instead and knew I had to buy it - beautiful and the recipes look really do-able and delicious. To be quite honest, those three cuisines - Turkey, Morocco and Lebanon - are the ones I love the best in that region anyway, so I'm happy with the smaller focus. Can't wait to try something but I am so tired of cooking that I may not get around to it until next week at the earliest.

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