Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes

Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes


By (author) Colette Rossant


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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 176mm x 16mm | 118g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0747558167
  • ISBN 13: 9780747558163
  • Edition statement: UK open market ed
  • Sales rank: 132,915

Product description

In 1937, five-year-old Colette Rossant arrived in Cairo from Paris with her Egyptian Jewish father and beautiful French mother. When her father dies Colette's flighty mother abandons the little girl to her wealthy grandparents. She soon settles into their luxuriant, food centred lifestyle - spending afternoons in the spice filled kitchen; accompanying her grandmother to the bazaar; and feasting on the delicious Egyptian food. At fifteen Colette is brought back to Paris with her mother, never to see her grandparents again, and only to return to Egypt thirty years later. In this charming, funny, and moving memoir, accompanied by mouth watering recipes, she evokes an Egypt lost, to her and to us, forever.

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Author information

Colette Rossant is a James Beard nominated food writer and is a columnist for the DAILY NEWS. She lives in New York with her husband.

Review quote

"Daily News" (New York)[E]ngrossing not just for its lovely style of writing but because Rossant's life has been so unusual and interesting. And getting the recipes for some of the dishes she reminisces about is an added bonus!

Editorial reviews

Half French and half Egyptian, Colette Rossant, successful journalist and author of eight books on cooking, shares here her earliest memories of life in Paris and then in Cairo with her father's loving family: the luxurious house, the garden with its mango tree, the cousins, uncles and aunts, the bazaar with its spices and fresh foods and, most important of all, the delicious family meals. When her young husband became disabled, Colette's mother brought her two children to stay with their Egyptian grandparents and, quite soon, left them there. Colette soon settled happily into this extended family where she was encouraged to taste and appreciate the superb dishes ordered by her grandmother and prepared by Ahmet the cook. As a young wife in New York she tried to emulate them but it took her some time to track down the necessary ingredients in Brooklyn's Syrian and Lebanese food shops: olives and feta cheese, dried beans, small green lentils, sheets of dried apricot paste, vine leaves and squab. This book should come with a warning to those on a diet for it is packed with wonderful recipes, so well described and seemingly simple that you can almost smell the herbs and hear the sizzle. Each event in her childhood is linked with food: the feasts served at her cousins' weddings, the fresh crab eaten on holiday in Alexandria, the classic French dishes served in Paris by her French grandmother's cook, Georgette. Not all her memories are happy ones and the Egypt she knew will never exist again but the author did go back, she did find the house and the mango tree and even met again Ahmet's son, her childhood friend. By passing on these recipes to her own children and to a wider readership she is preserving the magic. (Kirkus UK)