Cloth $15.95 ISBN: 9781861897961 Published April 2011 For sale in North and South America only

Dates

A Global History

Nawal Nasrallah

Dates
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Nawal Nasrallah

Distributed for Reaktion Books

136 pages | 60 color plates, 6 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2011
Cloth $15.95 ISBN: 9781861897961 Published April 2011 For sale in North and South America only

In Dates, Nawal Nasrallah draws on her experience of growing up in the lands of ancient Mesopotamia, where the date palm was first cultivated, to explore the history behind the fruit. Dates have an important role in their arid homeland of the Middle East, where they are a dietary staple and can be consumed fresh or dried, as a snack or a dessert, and are even thought to have aphrodisiac qualities.    

 

In this history, Nasrallah describes the central role the date palm has played in the economy of the Middle East. This informative account of the date palm’s story follows its journey from its land of origin to the far-flung regions where it is cultivated today. Along the way, Nasrallah weaves many fascinating and humorous anecdotes that explore the etymology, history, culture, religion, myths, and legends surrounding dates. For example, she explains how the tree came to be a symbol of the Tree of Life and associated with the fiery phoenix bird, the famous ancient goddess Ishtar, and the moon, and how the medjool date acquired its name.

 

This delightful and unusual book is generously illustrated with many beautiful images, and supplemented with more than a dozen delicious date recipes for savory dishes, sweets, and wine.

Wall Street Journal

“In addition to the date lore she recounts, Ms. ­Nasrallah offers recipes ranging from the arcane (an ancient Roman date sauce to accompany boiled ostrich) to the accessible, such as ‘Cupid's ­Omelet,’ a traditional Middle Eastern dish of eggs, chopped dates, butter and a dash of cinnamon that, besides tasting good, is ­‘believed to be ­aphrodisiac, especially if served with a small glass of milk or carrot juice.’”

Toronto Star
“We are quite taken with the short but engagingly readable Edibles series of handsome little books on basic, well, edibles, as in the cultural and global history of one type of food or beverage. Originating in England from Reaktion Books but written by foodie journalists or food science academics on both sides of the Atlantic, these spritely, much-illustrated books are a peruser’s delight.”
Etihad In-flight

“Nasrallah’s epic food memoir offers a smorgasbord of date history and fascinating facts topped with a dash of culture and a sprinkling of Arabic myth. Spicy and exotic, Dates: A Global History is also jam-packed with scrumptious date recipes for every occasion. After one read of this book, you’ll feel like an honorary member of Nasrallah’s huge family: armed and ready to prepare your own Middle Eastern date banquet.”– Etihad In-flight
 

Winterthur Portfolio

“A fun, smartly written series appropriate for a popular audience that likes to eat . . . the Edible series books provide level-headed and enjoyable overviews of food culture . . . These will create a little library that any foodie will be proud to show off . . . aesthetically pleasing volumes with decent content that would make good presents.”
Winterthur Portfolio, on the Edible series

Saudi Aramco World

“Like the date—small, but sweet and nutrition-rich—Dates: A Global History packs the story of this versatile and important fruit and its parent palm into a compact yet comprehensive volume.”

Contents
Introducing the Date

1. Looking After the Date
2. Date Varieties
3. The 360 Uses of the Date Palm
4. The Eminent History of the Date
5. Looking for the Date: A Bird's-Eye View
6. The Future of the Date

Recipes
References
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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