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Cookbook Review: Arabia

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Cookbook Review: Arabia


Photography © Kosmos Publishing

The Bottom Line

A culinary journey through the Arabic-Mediterranean region, with its exotic yet familiar sights, smells, people and flavors.


  • Plenty of great recipes from an interesting part of the culinary world.
  • All dishes have a corresponding color photo, plus there are location- and ingredient shots.
  • Not only a cookbook, but also a personal and inspiring travelogue.
  • Handy list of foodie tips and addresses for those planning a visit to the region.


  • Only available in Dutch, unfortunately.
  • There are some holes in the text and recipes that could put off the less experienced.
  • Recipe intros should be seperated from the method.
  • Some ingredients may be hard to find, depending on where you live.


  • Arabia
  • by Merijn Tol & Nadia Zerouali
  • Published by Kosmos
  • € 29,95
  • ISBN 978 90 215 3779 5

Guide Review - Cookbook Review: Arabia

Arabia is a colorful and inspiring cookbook and travel guide that covers the exciting Arabic-Mediterranean region, including Morocco, Tunisia, the Middle East, Syria and Lebanon. The Netherlands has a large immigrant community from this region, especially from Morocco and Turkey, making this cookbook a great addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in modern Dutch food and its -influences.

The book offers a large range of recipes for both beginner and advanced cooks as well as plenty of information about ingredients, local customs and traditions, and personal anecdotes and travel tips. The writing is very vivid, e.g. I now know that Morocco smells of orange blossoms in the spring. The beautiful color photography helps too. Pure, clean images of every dish certainly whet the appetite, while shots of places visited and faces encountered add a wonderful personal touch. In fact, it's hard to read this book without being tempted to jump on the next available flight to experience it all for oneself.

A small point of criticism would be that they sometimes make statements without explaining them, leaving the reader with unanswered questions. I also found that their recipes sometimes just assume that one knows how to do something. This could put off the less experienced cook. And, I really think there should be a paragraph break between recipe introductions and the actual method. Paragraph breaks separating the various steps of a recipe would also be easier on the eye and make recipes easier to follow. While some of the ingredients may be hard to find depending on where you live, the authors have indicated where one can find the more exotic ingredients in the Netherlands. Overall, however, it's not only a great read, but a fantastic cookbook too.

Try a recipe from the book:


Sweet Potato & Cumin Soup with Argan Oil

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Good !!, Member Lemongrassandcoriander

Even without the fava beans and the argan oil I find this soup an absolute hit. Argan oil would cost me too much, so I just used Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Could not find fava beans and did not feel like a substitute, so I skipped this ingredient. Easy and yet delicious. What else can I wish for in a recipe ? :)

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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