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A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East

 Author: Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper  Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks  Published: April 14, 2001  ISBN: 1860646034  Pages: 320  Language: English  Dimension: 5.06 x 0.67 x 7.81 inches

This pioneering book explores the culinary cultures of the Middle East in a variety of contexts. Written by specialists from different disciplines – history, sociology, geography, anthropology and literature – it covers a wide geographical area, from Central Asia to Morocco.

Diverse culinary cultures are revealed as overlapping variations on common themes, historically developed and diffused by successive syntheses effected from imperial centres of rule and civilization. These common themes are now being shaped by the processes of modernity: nation-states, mass communications, the industrialization and commercialization of food production, tourism, migrations and the ‘invention of tradition’. The contributors discuss various aspects of these historical and contemporary processes, including likely origins and diffusions of ingredients and dishes, changes in food production and eating habits, contemporary revivals of traditional cooking, literary representations of food and drink, and the class, gender and communal dimensions to food.

The book is a contribution to the growing body of research and writing on food in history and the social sciences, and provides material for a comparative perspective in the field.

Turkish translation: Orta Doğu Mutfak Kültürleri, Istanbul, Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2002


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