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A Taste of Lebanon-bookcover

By: Mervat Chahine

A Taste of Lebanon

Pages: 244 Ratings: 5.0
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‘In this book, I bring to life the stories behind the recipes, exploring the culture behind the ingredients and the poetry of their stories through a playful translation of language. It is a fusion of words and food; a cultural education.
‘Each recipe in this collection is inextricably linked to a memory or story from my colourful past; from watching a Lebanese neighbour cooking tomato paste on woodfire to exchanging recipes with my friends at college. My food expands the repertoire of Lebanese cooking by importing from the multicultural melting pot of contemporary London.
‘This is a celebration of seasonal fresh produce, family connections and friendships, and takes you back to basics. Something as simple as “Baked Potato with Kibbeh Spice” is a celebration of ingredients, flavour, and rural village life. This is food to nourish, to share, to enjoy, and to show the healing power that good food has on our lives.’
Mervat Chahine

Mervat Chahine’s passion for cooking derives from her traditional upbringing in Lebanon within a community full of love and admiration for food. Her studies in translation developed a fascination with language and storytelling and opened the doors to a variety of new recipes. After Mervat moved to London, as food became a cultural currency, she connected colleagues and friends, and commenced a culinary adventure.

Customer Reviews
2 reviews
2 reviews
  • Celine

    Mervat has created a recipe book like no other I have come across; to start with, I have never seen so many recipes in a cookbook, she seems to have managed to put the whole of Lebanon into pages. Being Lebanese myself, I have been looking for a recipe book that make sure I do not forget my heritage, that I can allow the tradition to live on. This book provides EVERY. SINGLE. RECIPE. I can think of that I grew up eating, happy or sad, sick or healthy.

    Mervat, however, took the concept of a recipe book a step further. Touching upon more that the simple physicality of cooking and eating, she based the book upon sentiment- sentiment of culture and growing up, sentiment of loved ones and lost ones, sentiment of food as unity of a people and invitation to the inside for a potential outsider. To say the least, I feel the essence of my country through this book.

    For anyone who is unfamiliar with the food and culture of Lebanon, I would recommend this as a wise introductory book; whilst Mervat does have all the recipes one would need to know Lebanon, she also breaks it down to the cement and bricks of our food. She has sections on each spice, herb and seasoning and its importance in our cooking. She also includes dips and sauces, making sure not to lack any part of what, altogether, makes Lebanese food the delicacy that it is globally known for.

    Lebanese and non-Lebanese, beginner and advanced, this book demands that everybody learn something. Mervat is seemingly an expert not just in cooking, but an expert in Lebanon, as she made it an art in itself...

  • Rana Chahine

    A Taste of Lebanon is a beautiful and unique collection of classic and timeless recipes that span Lebanon and beyond. Whether you’re a newbie to Lebanese cuisine or familiar to it, vegan, vegetarian or enjoy your meat and fish, there is something tantalising and new for everyone. Mervat covers a wonderful spectrum of basic ingredients of our cuisine such as tangy sumac spice, the versatile and delicious Zaatar while taking us on a wonderful journey of memories and stories of her childhood in Lebanon and the village in the South during the war. We gain insight into how these ingredients are collected and then prepared

    The pickling recipes make something which seems quite complex so simple and easy to follow. The lamb shank Soup that Saved the Son is simple but mouthwatering, and the story behind it very touching.
    I love the variety of salads, especially the Beetroot and Tahini salad. Who knew that Fish shawarma was even a dish but I can’t wait to try it.
    A must have for everyone’s cookbook collection.

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