This engrossing book from the prolific author – by her own description a “compulsive traveller, letter and diary writer, photographer and eater” – is a prime example of the food memoir with recipes, and Dimbleby ably demonstrates how brilliant the genre can be when done well. Tracing a childhood in Damascus, youth in Peru and Lanzarote, to a one-day honeymoon in New York City and a birthday celebrated in Rangoon, the attention to detail and accomplished storytelling takes the reader along for a delicious journey.
Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Kate Whiteman Award for Work on Food and Travel 2011.
Celebrated cookery writer Josceline Dimbleby is widely credited with introducing new ways of using spices to the domestic kitchen in the UK. This enchanting memoir explores the food influences of her rich and varied life and provides an outstanding collection of exciting recipes. As an itinerant child with a diplomat stepfather, Josceline spent much of her time in the kitchen – in a succession of different countries – watching cooks transform food with spices and herbs. As a consequence, she acquired not only a taste for food but also a passion for discovering other lands and different cuisines. From Syria to Morocco, from North America to Burma and Laos, her adult life built on and broadened her early gastronomic experiences. She found that her astonishing memory of tastes – together with her natural ability to combine flavours and textures harmoniously – enabled her to create very personal interpretations of dishes she had eaten around the world. Orchards in the Oasis is Josceline's absorbing account of her lifelong love affair with food and flavourings. It is interspersed with 75 inspiring but accessible recipes from the diverse cuisines she has experienced on her travels: Rose Petal Tart from Syria, Peruvian Potatoes, Bosphorus Mussel Stew, Marrakech Meatballs and Chicken Noodle Hotpot from Vietnam. Evocatively illustrated with mouthwatering food photography and the author's personal photographs of her travels, it is, indeed, an irresistible memoir.