Along with Claudia Roden, Paula Wolfert (1938– ) helped diversify American pantries and dinner tables with the food and flavors of the Mediterranean. Going far beyond the simple recording of recipes, Wolfert immersed herself in the culture, stories, and kitchens of home cooks, taking a near-ethnographic approach to her documentation.
Though most known for her work on Moroccan and Southwestern French cuisines, with 1994’s The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Wolfert explored Slavic Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and, notably, Georgia, a country in whose culinary traditions she recognized a kinship that earlier authors had overlooked.
Wolfert’s passionate writing is as enticing as the recipes themselves, of which there are over 200. From a Georgian dish of rainbow trout filets baked with eggplant and pomegranate to Turkish-style artichokes stuffed with rice, the dishes largely have the light and simple qualities we’ve come to expect from Mediterranean fare, while introducing styles, terms, and approaches that might be less familiar. An important addition to just about any cookbook library.
Ours is a third printing signed to Mark. Very Good plus, including the jacket. Lightly shelfworn.