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Mezze

A Labor of Love
by Barbara Abdeni Massaad
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Barbara Abdeni Massaad
  • Publishing date: 28/11/2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9789953028286

Synopsis

The exploration of Lebanese culinary heritage would not be complete without a book on the mezze. If a single image could define our unique culture and heritage, it would certainly depict an over sized table groaning with small, colorful plates of food, surrounded by happy people caught in the act of socializing and sharing a meal. We connect to each other as plates are passed and conversations rise and fall. Mezze reflects a casual setting, where one shares good food, pleasant drink and conviviality with family and friends. Preparing the mezze, therefore, is more important than ever as an element of our social fabric.
I was raised knowing that food was my family’s livelihood. Our convivial family restaurant in Florida served Lebanese mezze daily, and these platters of delicious food acted as little ambassadors of the faraway land which we called home. The ritual of serving mezze, hot and cold dishes of varying texture, flavor and aroma, was a spectacular showcase of the riches our native land had to offer. Our guests were endlessly surprised and delighted, begging to know the ingredients and origins of their food.
Within these pages, you’ll find my interpretation of the mezze based on many years of learning, practice and sharing recipes in different settings with many wonderful people. I worked to make Mezze: A Labor of Love bold in both words and imagery, with no pretensions—just food with soul carefully explained, cherished, artistically illustrated, and documented for us and for future generations.
The recipes included are a guide to build on and elaborate according to your personal preferences. The best mezze utilizes a perfect mix of local products: olive oil, dairy, meat, fish and vegetables, including a seasonal variety of edible plants and fruit. You may find that some ingredients differ slightly from the north of Lebanon to the south, but my advice is to work with these gifts of nature and simply make magic. Food preparation is never about a strict set of rules. Cooking is personal, meaning that the character and personality of the cook should be evident in the final outcome.
The secret ingredient to success in making mezze is a pinch of love mixed with serenity, and finally peace of mind. They make the final taste complete. Food is therefore taken to another level. Enjoy… and sahteyn!

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