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Couscous And Other Good Food From Morocco [Paperback]

Paula Wolfert
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.99
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Book Description

Feb. 18 1987

Since it was first published in 1973, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco has established itself as the classic work on one of the world's great cuisines. From the magnificent bisteeyas (enormous, delicate pies composed of tissue-thin, buttery layers of pastry and various fillings) to endless varieties of couscous, Paula Wolfert reveals not only the riches of the Moroccan kitchen but also the variety and flavor of the country itself. With its outstanding recipes, meticulous and loving research, and keen commitment to the traditions of its subject, this is one of the rare cookbooks that are as valuable for their good reading as for their inspired food.

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Couscous And Other Good Food From Morocco + Tagines & Couscous + Tagine
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North Africa is the home to one of the world's great cuisines. Redolent of saffron, cumin and cilantro, Moroccan cooking can be as elegant or as down-home hearty as you want it to be. In Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, author Paula Wolfert has collected delectable recipes that embody the essence of the cuisine. From Morocco's national dish, couscous (for which Wolfert includes more than 20 different recipes), to delicacies such as Bisteeya (a pigeon pie made with filo, eggs, and raisins among other ingredients), Wolfert describes both the background of each recipe and the best way to prepare it. As if the mouthwatering recipes weren't enough, each chapter includes some aspect of Moroccan culture or history, be it an account of Moroccan moussems, or festivals, or a description of souks, or markets. Just reading the recipes will be enough to induce ravenous hunger even on a full stomach. Once you've tried the Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almonds, or the Seared Lamb Kebabs Cooked in Butter, Paula Wolfert's Couscous and Other Good Foods from Morocco will become a well-worn title on your cookbook shelf.

About the Author

Paula Wolfert is the author of Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco, Mediterranean Cooking, and Paula Wolfert's World of Food. She is married to the crime novelist William Bayer and lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything in its shadow Jan. 14 2004
By peederj
The problem with the first major book on a cuisine being the best is everyone writing books afterward feels they have to change things, usually for the worse.
For instance, if I were to write a Moroccan cookbook today, the best I could do is one line, directing the reader to buy this book instead.
Otherwise, I would have to try to simplify recipes to their detriment, clutter them up with disastrous result, or scrape the bottom of the barrel for more original recipes that aren't particularly good.
So even though this book has few illustrations and was written in the 70's, if you actually want to cook Moroccan food you really don't have any choice. You simply must buy this book and cook through it because every other author on the subject has done the same and cowers in the shadow of this achievement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good foods indeed. Oct. 2 2002
Reading this book is a joy for a Moroccophile because Ms. Wolfert is so passionate about not only the foods of Morocco but the kingdom itself. Although her recipes for couscous, tagines, and desserts are often time-consuming (Moroccan cooks spend long time in their kitchen --- I reserve those dishes for a special dinner or dessert party), they always give excellent results. I have tried cooking couscous in the oven and in the microwave, but they didn't come close to the light and fluffy couscous I made with a couscousiere following her instruction. Her Moroccan salads can be assembled relatively quickly, and they make excellent side dishes for any Mediterranean-style meals.
A local Moroccan restaurant owner highly recommended this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I can not praise this book enough! It deserves more than 5 stars! The recipes are wonderful and truly AUTHENTIC; the ingredients are simple and easy to find in any market or store. And the recipes are delicious! They take me back to Morocco! I love the fact that the book is not only recipes but little facts, stories, adventures and knowledge about Morocco as well. It reads as a cookbook and a story book all in one! I envy all the years she got to spend there and the knowledge she learned from the other cooks in Morocco! This book is a MUST for anyone who loves to try different foods and especially if you have a Moroccan friend, fiance or husband. They will be suitably impressed with your skill and will wonder where you learned how to make the food! My husband absolutely loves that I have learned how to cook some dishes that he is used to eating in his homeland. I also recommend if you get this book, get Kitty Morse's as well; they go hand in hand like a set. You will have a good Moroccan food base to cook for quite some time to come!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive work on Moroccan food! Feb. 17 2001
I was taken on a business dinner to a Moroccan restaurant in the Bay Area where we removed shoes, given a large turkish towel, and sat on the floor on cushions. Among the exquisite food eaten and the tea and wine we drank was a pie dish, with layers of chicken and lemon and a cinannomon crust. I have yearned to have the dish again.
Found it here in Wolfert's classic --- bisteeya! It is unbelievable. Dive in with your hands and its just the best. She even recommends how to do this.
Besides the bisteeya, love the tagines,especially new to my taste, Fish Tagine with Celery in the Style of Safi (bamboo canes line the casserole) and the Lamb Tagine with artichokes, lemon and olives. Of course, the kabob offerings are world class and famous and delicious. Only wish (we are so spoiled) that this would have the normal color photos of the dishes that we're becoming so used to.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moroccan Quisine in a nutshell... envigorating! June 18 1997
By A Customer
This is my most beloved (and food-stained) cookbook! Bisteeya is perhaps the most wonderfull dish in the world... and Paula offers several ways to make it, along with amazing couscous, tagines and deserts. Everything is doable, even with some modification to suit the underequiped kitchen. If you enjoy good ethnic food, then this book is certainly for you! My only complaint: the estimated cooking times are way off... but every dish is BY FAR worth the wait!

thank you Paula!

vegetarians/vegans: this book contains a majority of meat-oriented dishes. i still recommend it for v/v's simply for the spice combinations and potential for modification. the 7-vegetable couscous minus the chicken is still palette-blowing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Than Just Couscous!!! Feb. 17 2003
By A Customer
This book is the "Western-wife-of-Moroccan-husband" dream come true, & is the most well-researched, comprehensive manual on Moroccan cuisine I've seen. The high point is Wolfert's very detailed lesson in properly preparing & steaming Moroccan couscous grains (a far cry from our boxed couscous), a lesson often lacking in other cookbooks. Another gem is her extensively-researched compilation of ras el hanout components. She clarifies western-translation of Moroccan ingredients, provides useful preparation shortcuts, & helpfully suggests alternative ingredients & equipment for the western cook. Importantly, she points out ( & even provides a map with detailed examples) regional differences in preparation of many dishes - differences of which many Moroccans themselves may not be aware. This information is vital for the western wife attempting to prepare her Moroccan husband his favorite home-cooked meal.
The book is also a great read, esp. her stories of life in Morocco, & excellent cultural/religious background information. It has tons of useful reference material, including complete menus, specialty-food suppliers in the US, a full discussion of the spices/herbs/waters used in Moroccan cuisine, et al.
Most importantly, after some practice on my part, my picky Moroccan husband has been thrilled with the results!
I would also highly recommend Robert Carrier's "Taste of Morocco" (see his shebbekia recipe); & for helpful, color photos (& recipes of course), Kitty Morse's "Cooking At The Casbah" & Fatema Hal's "The Food of Morocco" (from the "Food of.." series).
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