Saturday, February 1, 2020

February/March selection: Pomegranate Soup

I saw the novel Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran (2005) at the annual Berkeley Library sale last year (a great chance to stock up on books). I remembered reading good reviews about it, so I added it to my purchases.

Pomegranate Soup is a story of people who have fled from their country of origin and recreated their lives in a different one. In the case of the three Aminpour sisters, the first country is Iran, the second Ireland. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop in the village of Ballinacroagh, County Mayo, the sisters share foods of their native country, like red lentil soup, abgusht stew, rosewater baklava. Not everybody like the "wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets," though, and therefore, as you can imagine, adventures ensue.

From the publisher's website:
Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumphs of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living.
Ms. Mehran died in Ireland in 2014, aged 37, while she was working on the third book of the Aminpour sisters' series (the second, Rosewater and Soda Bread, was published in 2008). I am even gladder to feature Pomegranate Soup as our selection: reading what she wrote and shared with the world is, in my view, the best way to honor her memory.


Deadline for contributing your post: Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Leave a comment below with a link to your post or email me at simosite AT mac DOT com.

Remember that anyone can participate in Cook the Books: simply pick up a copy of the selection from your local bookstore or library, take inspiration from said reading, cook and post the inspired dish. We look forward to having you read and cook along with in this selection period and beyond. New participants are always welcomed with open arms! (Leave a comment here or check out our Guidelines page if you have any questions.

This selection brings to a close the current set of four: be on the lookout for a post where we announce the next four selections.


Debra Eliotseats said...

I cannot believe we are discussing the February/March selection. It seems like it was just the holidays! I have my book and can't wait to start it. Thanks for hosting, Simona!

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Good Morning Simona. My post went live this morning. I loved this novel and am looking forward to reading the next two. Thanks for choosing it. Help yourself to any content in my post.

Mae Travels said...

Interesting selection -- I read it a few years ago. I always enjoy your food reading!

Blogged the book here:

best... mae at mae's food blog

likeschocolate said...

Sounds like a very interesting book and right up my alley. Have a great week.

Simona Carini said...

I know the feeling, Debra. (And already thinking about the next 4 selections :)

Thank you so much, Wendy. Glad you liked the book :)

Thank you, Mae :)

You're welcome to join us, Kelleyn. There is plenty of time.

Claudia said...

My post is now up! Thanks Simona, I enjoyed this step outside my usual reading.

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Claudia :)

Amy said...

My post is live!

Thank you for hosting!

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Amy :)

Tina said...

I just posted red lentil soup for this book selection. My post is here:
Thank you for hosting, Simona.


Debra Eliotseats said...

Mine is up!

Thanks, Simona for hosting!

Simona Carini said...

Thank you Tina and Debra :)

And here is my contribution:

Marg said...

Here's my post for this month's selection

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Marg :)

Here's Cathy's contribution (sent via email):

CulinUrsa said...

What strange and difficult times we are living in right now... I posted this to my blog last week and totally forgot to link it here. Glad I remembered before the 31st! Although it was tough cooking from this book because I didn't want to make unnecessary trips to the stores, I managed to adapt the fesnejoon and it was wonderful!

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Elizabeth :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

My apologies for being more than a bit lame this month--not only being right at the wire as usual but also for not getting a chance to re-read the book as I waited until the last minute and couldn't find my copy. ;-(
I have read it twice, the last time several years ago and I am going off memories for this post. But I did find a delicious Persian recipe to make :

Thanks for hosting Simona! ;-)

Simona Carini said...

No worries, Deb. Thank you :)