Feast: Food of the Islamic World
By Anissa Helou
2018, Ecco, 978-0-06236-303-9, $60 hb.
Reviewed by Tom Verde on May 15, 2019
It takes confidence to pull together an authoritative cross section of foods spanning “the Islamic World.” Veteran food writer Anissa Helou rises to the occasion with this 530-page collection of familiar (shawarma, hummus), vaguely familiar (Moroccan tagines, Persian pilaus) and not-so-familiar (Saudi camel meatballs) recipes from nearly every corner of the Muslim world. She presents fish dishes from the Gulf States, along with Saudi Arabia curries from India, Pakistan and Indonesia; savory one-pot rice meals from Afghanistan; sweets from Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq; scallion pancakes from China; and simple bread rolls from Senegal. This exhaustive volume, covering centuries of tradition and tens of thousands of square kilometers, should appeal to serious and curious cooks alike.