Sumac: Recipes and Stories from Syria by Anas Atassi
NPR BEST COOKBOOK 2021
Exploring the connection of food and culture with traditional and contemporary Syrian recipes that were inspired by personal stories
" As a Syrian who has had, due to the devastation of war, to spend most of his life outside Syria, Atassi presents the food that creates the feeling of home, gathering memories, flavors, and dishes both as a homage to his mother and his homeland. It is a remarkably generous book that wants you the reader to take pleasure in the food that means so much to him. And reading this book, I long, too, to savor those meals and those flavors." --Nigella Lawson
The Syrian kitchen, shaped by influences from neighboring countries, has deep historical roots and evolved to perfection over thousands of years.
Sumac is filled with traditional and contemporary Syrian recipes that were inspired by personal stories. The gorgeous photography illustrates how beautiful this country was and still is, and family photographs add depth to the author's history. Each chapter is filled with the author's memories of family celebrations and the country that inspired the book. He tells stories of traditional weekend breakfasts in his grandmother's garden and of the mezze his mother cooked for family gatherings. There are memories of the rich aromatic flavors of the Syrian kitchen where fragrant spices like the lemony and deep red sumac are prized ingredients.
In the author's words: "With this book, I hope to build a bridge between Syrian culture and the rest of the world, with food the common denominator. But even more, I hope that Sumac will present a positive image of my country, in spite of all the unfortunate events now taking place in Syria."
- Over eighty recipes, inspired by the author's family recipes and his travels
- Beautiful location photography by Rania Kataf, who shot Humans of Damascus
- For anybody curious about a country so often in the news headlines but so difficult to visit as a tourist