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The Silk Road Gourmet: Volume One: Western and Southern Asia [Paperback]

Laura Kelley

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Book Description

July 1 2009
From the shores of the Black Sea to the sands of the Pacific, the foods enjoyed along the Silk Road whisper tales of connections between the cultures, histories, economies, and regions of Asia. In The Silk Road Gourmet, author Laura Kelley brings the breadth of Asian cooking to your door. Spanning more than thirty countries and including 1,000 recipes, the three volumes of The Silk Road Gourmet explore the cuisines of the countries that traded goods and shared culture along that great lifeline of the ancient world.

This first volume surveys the cuisines of Western and Southern Asia from the Republic of Georgia to Sri Lanka and examines the cultural links between the countries that have led them to share ingredients, methods of preparation, and even entire dishes. This cookbook includes recipes for delicious and authentic main-course meat and vegetable dishes as well as appetizers, desserts, sauces, and condiments to grace contemporary, globalized tables. Learn how to prepare Grilled Chicken with Garlic and Walnut Sauce from the Republic of Georgia, Meatballs in Lemon Sauce from Armenia, and Cinnamon Potatoes with Pine Nuts from Azerbaijan.

With fully tested recipes and step-by-step instructions, The Silk Road Gourmet brings the exotic home to you.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (July 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440143056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440143052
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 558 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #467,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Recipes in Need of an Editor Dec 21 2010
By eternal student - Published on Amazon.com
These recipes are fantastic! I cannot emphasize that enough. I've tried 10, not counting sauces and spice mixes, from 5 countries. They can be kind of involved, and some of the ingredients can be tough to find, but they're definitely packed with great flavors, and I'm very glad I tried this book.

My only real complaint is that this book desperately needs an editor. None of the recipes say how many people they serve. The format makes it difficult to find the sub-recipes like the sauces (Instead of the author's name and book title at the top of the pages, I think we'd be better served by having the country and food section listed, e.g. Afghanistan and Meat Dishes, so you can keep track while flipping between recipes, which is often called for. In fact, I made this change to my own copy, and it helped immensely.) Some of the instructions are rather vague or inconsistent and could be cleaned up, but I did muddle through to excellent results.

The index is atrocious; it is almost completely worthless.

If my review sounds harsh, let me say that I really like this cookbook, and can't wait to try volumes 2 & 3 when they come out. However, I sincerely hope the author hires an editor for the following books, preferably someone familiar with cookbooks.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars needed a copy editor Dec 19 2009
By Julie Logue Riordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a member of a cookbook club and 13 of us cooked recipes out of the book. We found the directions too vague, some measurements were off, and while she claims to have tested the recipes several times we seriously doubted it. The index was hopeless, generally the intro of a book tells you about how the special ingredients used these were buried in the back of the book. It as interesting to explore and taste but will probably not use it in the future.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tastes great, but some problems Dec 21 2009
By Betty Teller - Published on Amazon.com
From the same cookbook club as the person who gave a 3-star review: I rate this book a bit higher. The food was absolutely delicious. Some of the author's favorites were mine as well -- the bean salad and meatballs in lemon sauce in particular.

However, several folks encountered problems with recipes that listed ingredients that didn't show up in the instructions (among them, the lemon meatballs -- there was a cup of water listed that was still sitting on the counter when the cook was finished), and one recipe for a dough (apricot crescents) where something was way off (the "dough" you are supposed to knead was more like pancake batter).

We had a number of quibbles about the book's editing, its organization, and the imperfect indexing, we questioned whether the spicing was authentic (foods we think of as very hot, like Vindaloo, were quite mild) and we would have liked more context for the recipes -- the head notes are more about the recipe itself than about how it fits into the culture it represents. But bottom line is, the food tasted great and was easy to prepare. I'd recommend the book, but for experienced cooks who know enough to work around any problems encountered.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change of taste Dec 14 2010
By Hugh Ashton - Published on Amazon.com
First of all, I like this book as a book. The design is interesting, and the typefaces are well chosen to complement the text. It's a shame that colour plates are so expensive - this book would have benefited from them, but the monochrome photos are clear and interesting. Maybe this style of binding is unsuitable for a kitchen cookbook, but it's usable.

As to the subject matter: it's fascinating. This is a part of the world I have never visited, and the cuisine is largely unknown outside the area. I live in Japan, so some of the ingredients are a little tricky to find, but happily, there are more and more Indians coming to work in Japan, which makes spices much easier to discover in Japanese stores than, say, ten years ago.

The recipes are clearly explained, with enough "front matter" to give you a clear idea of whether you want to try the recipe or not. For me, measuring in "cups" is very alien (in the UK, we always used grams or pounds and ounces for dry weight or cc or pints for liquid measure). I am still not totally clear what a "cup" means - but I approximate to 200cc, and it seems to work - these are not haute cuisine recipes, anyway. It would be nice to see how many servings are expected from the recipes, as well.

The real joy of the book, though, comes in the explanations of the culinary traditions and the histories and cultures of the different nations. More than just a cookbook. Recommended for anyone who wants to explore different styles of cooking and eating.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silk Road Sizzles in My Kitchen March 4 2010
By calvados man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What Laura Kelley does in her cookbook is let us all see how we are truly interconnected - while making us happy with a mouth watering sampler of the REAL Silk Road. Like a Douglas Adams of cookery she teaches us not to be too smug about our ethnic cuisine - all the while telling us to remember the history of the Western and Eastern collisions of what can only be seen as the first global trade... the Silk Road. Asia and the Caucuses, Indonesia, all blend in various regional borrowings one from another - sort of like my kitchen... I had Chinese soup 2 nights ago - with cinnamon and star anise in the spicing - and a quince koresh from Iran tonight.. spiced with saffron and cinnamon. Kelley introduces the reader to the less known Oriental side of the Silk Road - not just the Marco Polo caravans we learn about in grade school - don't worry - there is plenty to cook from the Western end as well as Central Asia. Kelley shows us through food that the Silk Road is the world of trade - of ships - of wealth and cultural borrowing. Recipes jump off the page into the pot and on to the dinner table.. Let's see - for dessert...I'll make.....

Her initial volume begs for an encore .. As we wait - you might want to visit The Silk Road Gourmet Blog for an enlightening walk with one of the most interesting authors I have recently discovered. [...] ( )

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