Behind closed doors, North African home cooks are taking the region's food to new heights. Traditional dishes such as tagines, stews, soups, and salads are being adapted and refined, and new dishes are being created using classic ingredients such as fiery spices, jewel-like dried fruits, lemons, and armfuls of fresh herbs.
The North African Kitchenis the result of Fiona Dunlop's long fascination with the region. She visits eight of the best home cooks in Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya, shopping and cooking with them, and learning their favorite recipes and cooking tricks. Simplicity is at the heart of the private medina kitchen. The exotic fuses with the domestic to produce dishes that are highly flavored yet quick and easy to prepare. Tunisian cuisine is perhaps the hottest of the region-due in large part to the popularity of the fiery chili paste harissa. As well as a strong French influence, pasta is a passion in Tunisia. Morocco's great forte is its tagines and sauces-with meat and fish being cooked in one of four popular sauces. And Libya, although less gastronomically subtle than Tunisia and Morocco, excels in soups and patisserie.
This culinary journey creates a vivid and sensual picture of how food is really shopped for and cooked in the private kitchens of some of the world's most extraordinary gastronomic cultures.