The oriental cook book : wholesome, dainty and economical dishes of the Orient, especially adapted to American tastes and methods of preparation
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Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project
- Copyright Status
- No Copyright
Keoleian, Ardashes H., 1875-
Cooking, Middle Eastern
- Material Type
- 349 pages
The introductory texts reproduced here were written by the original Feeding America team to contextualize the books that were selected for inclusion as part of the 2001 digitization project.
The Oriental Cook Book; Wholesome, Dainty And Economical Dishes Of The Orient, Especially Adapted To American Tastes And Methods Of Preparation,
By Ardashes H. Keoleian...
New York, Sully & Kleinteich, 1913.
We have selected a large number of "ethnic" cookbooks to illustrate the diverse influences on the formation of an American cuisine. [Please see the introduction for more information.] Sometimes these books were authentic and informative about the cuisine they were discussing; other times, they were quite poor representations.
In this volume, we find authentic, traditional foods of the what the author calls "Oriental" but is actually Middle East - that is from the Balkans to Persia, and from Arabia and Egypt to the Caucasus.
The author seems to be of Armenian extraction and is "formerly of Constantinople" [Istanbul]. He may have been in the food business there, either as a professional cook or a food merchant. In fact, in the last pages of this book, he offers special oriental ingredients for which his readers can send. For example: ripe black olives from Greece, Italy and Turkey retail at 15 to 20 cents per pound, dry chick peas are 8 to 10 cents a pound, cracked wheat is 5 to 6 cents per pound and pine-cone seeds are 30 t0 35 cents per pound - all plus "an additional sum of 10 per cent of the value of the order, for packing purposes, etc."
He takes great pains to describe and introduce Middle Eastern cooking to his American audience, mentioning its long history, its economy, its simplicity of preparation, its healthful aspects and its good taste.
The recipes are carefully written, in English, with their names also given in a recognizable Middle Eastern form. We would today recognize many of these dishes: Deoner Kebab, Shish-Kebab, Pilaf, Boulghour, Dolma, Keofteh, Paklava, Helva, and Beoregh. But there are also many more unusual dishes. All the traditional ingredients of Middle Eastern cooking are used - artichokes, ocra, cracked wheat, rice, saffron, eggplant, chickpeas, fava beans, and more.
This is a most interesting book and a good early example of the introduction of ethnic foods to the American public.