The Fertile Crescent region—the swathe of land comprising a vast portion of today’s Middle East—has long been regarded as pivotal to the rise of civilisation. Alongside the story of human development, innovation, and progress, there is a culinary tradition of equal richness and importance. In The Culinary Crescent: A History of Middle Eastern Cuisine, Peter Heine combines years of scholarship with a personal passion: his knowledge of the cookery traditions of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal courts is matched only by his love for the tastes and smells produced by the contemporary cooking of these areas today. In addition to offering a fascinating history, Heine presents more than seventy recipes—from the modest to the extravagant—with dishes ranging from those created by the celebrity chefs of the bygone Mughal era, up to gastronomically complex presentations of modern times. Beautifully produced, and designed for both reading and cooking, The Culinary Crescent is sure to provide a delectable window onto the history of food in the Middle East.
Peter Heine taught at the University of Münster and Bonn and was Professor for Islamic Studies at the Humboldt-University in Berlin until 2009.