“The night before Daphne left for Instanbul, Sultana Badem warned her daughter that she must not under any circumstances fall in love with a man in the Poli, which is the only word Istanbul Rums use for their homeland: the City.”
—Excerpt from A Recipe for Daphne: A Novel, by Nektaria Anastasiadou
A charming multiperspective, modern-day romance novel, this book centers on the Rum (Greek Orthodox Christian) community in Istanbul, Turkey. While Daphne, a 32-year-old teacher interested in applying for a Ph.D. in oral history, has lived her entire life in Miami, Florida, her visit back to her parent's homeland teaches her new ways to live. With her mother being Rum and her father being of Ottoman descent, Daphne searches for her identity within the crossroads of Turkish cultures. Once she arrives in the city, however, she finds herself at another crossroads between two men: Fanis, lively 76-year-old, and Kosmos, a pastry chef at the renowned patisserie the Lily. To gain Daphne's attention, Kosmos searches for the recipe to make balkanik, a Rum pastry originating from the 16th century. Centering on romance and family, this novel is a quick read for romance lovers interested in learning about Rum culture.