The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean, from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes The story of the birth and evolution of the cuisines of the Mediterranean Basin is the story of wars and plagues, political intrigue and pirates, the Silk Road and the New World, the rise of capitalism and city-states, the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, and the obsession with spice. A groundbreaking cookbook based on original, primary research in eight languages, A Mediterranean Feast weaves together historical and culinary strands from Moorish Spain to North Africa, from Sicily and the kingdoms of Italy to Greece, the coasts of the Balkans, Turkey, and the Near East. Author Clifford Wright shows how the cuisines of the Mediterranean have been indelibly stamped with the uncompromising geography and climate of the area and a past marked with both unstinting poverty and wildly outrageous wealth. The 500 recipes included, adapted for today's kitchen, show the range of culinary ingenuity and indulgence, from the peasant kitchen to the merchant pantry. They also show the migration of local culinary predilections, tastes for foods and methods of preparation carried from home to new lands by seafarers, soldiers, merchants, and religious pilgrims. Historical illustrations and maps of the Mediterranean, from the past to the present, also highlight this epic book. An astonishing accomplishment of culinary and historical research and detective work, A Mediterranean Feast is required-and intriguing-reading for any cook, armchair or otherwise.