In this remarkable and tantalising book, Shirin Simmons imparts her compendious knowledge of the traditional cuisine of Persia: subtle, distinctive, elegant and varied. Its influence and popularity stretched from ancient Persia to Rome and Greece, then finally, during the 7th century and the conquest of Iran by the Arabs, to North Africa and on to Spain and the rest of Europe. Shirin Simmons is the first Persian born cookery writer to present in the English language over 220 traditional recipies from salads to complex exotic dishes - especially the sweet and savoury dishes from her mother's collection. Shirin grew up enjoying and experiencing cooking from her early childhood days in Yadz to her teenage days in Tehran. The recipies are given an historical and cultural context which makes this much more than just a cookery book. Muslim, Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian recipies are all presented along with the details of their associated festivals and customs.This book is spiced with anecdotes, stories about family traditions - some of which can be highly emotional, as well as accounts about Shirin's travels through various regions of the country, from prerevolution to her very recent visit.
Packed with advice on ingredients and cooking techniques, this is a superb introduction for novice cook and expert chef alike to the pleasure of this influential and sophisticated world of cooking.
Shirin Simmons born in Yadz, central Persia, now Iran, was the youngest of five children from a middle-class Zoroastrian family. Her grandfather a distinguishes historian, was the author of a book on the culture and food of the country: her father was a civil servant and her mother, Homoyoun, was a most gifted cook. Homayoun was able on sampling a dish to recreate it herself exactly without the aid of a recipe. As a result of her extraordinary culinary talent, inherited by her daughter Shirin, entertaining was a regular event and the house was always full of family and friends.Shirin left Persia in the late 1950s to study English in London, where she qualified first as a nurse, then as a beauty therapist. She also took a course in Art, and then returned to live with her parents in the capital city Tehran, where she became a teacher and also practised as a nurse. She says her vivid childhood memories are of 'Sharing, cooking and eating together with all members of the family'In 1970 her love of England bought her back to London, where she has lived since then. Her dinner parties and buffets have become legendry amongst her circle of friends, and encouraged by the enthusiasm for her cooking, she wrote her first cookery book in 1988. Now an active member of the Guild of Food writers, this is her second cookery book.