Created as a fundraiser to benefit victims of the devastating 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut, Forever Beirut is a collection of home recipes from the many ethnic and religious groups that comprise the city.
Barbara Abdeni Massaad's extensive headnotes make it clear that even in the bustling, ancient city of Beirut, one is never far from the countryside and the ingredients which are harvested and made in villages, from kishk, a powdered, fermented mixture of bulger and yogurt, to awarma, a confit of ground lamb that is an ancient form of preserving the meat.
The author's own photographs illustrate the book, showing not only the finished dishes, but street scenes, bakers, restaurants, fishmongers, cheesemakers, butchers, and musicians. As a native Lebanese, she recognizes the urge to innovate which is reflected in many of Beirut's restaurants, but she is drawn to presenting more traditional versions of recipes while acknowledging new versions in her notes.
An appealing and accessible collection which does an admirable job of connecting the city's food to its past.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.