Monday, October 27, 2014

Taste of Beirut, by Joumana Accad - A Book Review

This cookbook is one that I have been looking for. My husband served two stints in the Navy and during that time, spent a significant amount of his service in the Mediterranean region. While there, he had the opportunity to eat foods of the region. He gained a love of Middle Eastern foods that followed him back home. After our marriage, when I learned how much he loved this style of cooking, I began searching out recipes. I was often discouraged to find that many recipes are written by people who did not grow up eating these foods. The recipes seemed to be missing something. When I saw this cookbook, I knew I had to give it a try. Taste of Beirut is written by Joumana Accad, a native of Lebanon who came to America in 1979.

The recipes are a nice blend of traditional and modern. In the very first chapter, great detail is given to the basics. One example is the time spent explaining pita bread and it's role in the daily meals. Throughout the cookbook, great care is given to walking you through the recipes. You literally are taken step by step in the preparation with tips for serving and storage of the foods.

I absolutely loved that there is such detail in the book from the descriptions of what meals are traditionally like to what is in the typical Lebanese pantry. Reading through the book, I can feel the passion that the author has for this style of cooking.

The pictures in the book are very well done. I was happy to see that so many were included. Some cookbooks do not have a picture for each recipe, which is a detriment to me when I want to try something new. These pictures actually start making you hungry as you glance through them.

This is the first cookbook that I have on my Kindle that I am looking forward to buying in book form to add to my recipe books collection. It is likely to become one of my most often used cookbooks as well. If you are interested in the flavorful foods of the Middle Eastern regions, this book is a great place to start. It has all the basics that are a part of that region's diet. You can find meal ideas for every meal of the day, including some that can be snacks in between meals. Even my picky eater is enjoying foods made from this book! That alone is a feat worthy of promoting this book.


  1. A heartfelt thank you dear Paula! Hope you use the cookbook I wrote and researched while living the past 3 1/2 years in Lebanon (both Beirut and the mountains) and feed your family for many many meals to come. Sahteyn!

    1. It was a pleasure to write the review. Our family loves the Middle Eastern style of cooking and the recipes in this book are a wonderful addition to our meals. Thank you for taking the time to write the book and share your passion for cooking.