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Persepolis is a foodie's paradise. Sally Butcher and her husband Jamshid have created a food store from heaven, gathering all that's best from Iran and the Middle East. Chef and food writer Tom Norrington Davies remarks that 'Persepolis is my corner shop. But even if it wasn't, I'd happily cross town and country to get there. Otherwise, I'd miss the heady scent of their herbs and spices every time I opened my kitchen cupboards. Persepolis is an emporium in the true sense of the word. It feels exotic and local all at once, and this is, in no small part, thanks to Sally Butcher. She is always happy to give advice on everything from chick peas to hookahs with the same warm mix of humour, expertise and enthusiasm. And if the samovar is on you get all the above with a cuppa. Persepolis is the sort of place no neighbourhood should be without.' This book distils all that is remarkable about this shop and the style of cooking that it supports. Sally herself is English, but she has had to learn the ways of her customers and her husband's family.
She is a matchless interpreter of Persian food and cookery, as well as of modern Iran and the tremendous changes that have been going on in that society since the revolution. This book should be seen as a way for British readers to enter into the Persian experience; to understand how the cuisine has developed; and to appreciate how the cookery (and the society) is reacting to the modern world. The recipes are full and informative, covering every aspect of Persian cookery from soups and stews to drinks and sweetmeats. This will be a book to remember; and a book that will be applauded and endorsed by some of the most respected of our modern food writers and chefs.
Sally and her Iranian husband, Jamshid, run a small Persian empire in south-east London comprising an import and distribution business, and the shop of the title. A university drop-out, she spent a number of years pretending she could cook for a living, along the way acquiring a vast store of useless foodie information and just a scraping of culinary ability. She absorbed both the Persian language and the Persian kitchen by osmosis.