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A Sip, a Bite, a Mouthful: A memoir of food and growing up in Shiraz

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A story of growing up in Shiraz of the 1960s told through memories of food and cuisine, A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful contains an account of Iranian customs, passions and rituals; it depicts a vivid picture of life in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran; and it touches on experiences of Iranian expatriates and the migration of their favourite foods, feasts, tastes and eating habi A story of growing up in Shiraz of the 1960s told through memories of food and cuisine, A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful contains an account of Iranian customs, passions and rituals; it depicts a vivid picture of life in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran; and it touches on experiences of Iranian expatriates and the migration of their favourite foods, feasts, tastes and eating habits to the west. Engaging, intimate and frequently witty anecdotes are framed within a non-linear story and garnished with recipes for Southern shrimp stew, Northern stuffed fish, Shiraz herbal drinks and a bevy of other delicious foods and drinks. A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful strikes a balance between the personal and the general, between the serious and the light, and reaches out to those who are passionate about food and those who are not; people from Iran or who know a fair bit about it and people from elsewhere. It haunts the reader with its heartfelt food memories, and provides an insight into a way of life, a time and place, and the experience of people who have left the place they grew up in.


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A story of growing up in Shiraz of the 1960s told through memories of food and cuisine, A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful contains an account of Iranian customs, passions and rituals; it depicts a vivid picture of life in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran; and it touches on experiences of Iranian expatriates and the migration of their favourite foods, feasts, tastes and eating habi A story of growing up in Shiraz of the 1960s told through memories of food and cuisine, A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful contains an account of Iranian customs, passions and rituals; it depicts a vivid picture of life in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran; and it touches on experiences of Iranian expatriates and the migration of their favourite foods, feasts, tastes and eating habits to the west. Engaging, intimate and frequently witty anecdotes are framed within a non-linear story and garnished with recipes for Southern shrimp stew, Northern stuffed fish, Shiraz herbal drinks and a bevy of other delicious foods and drinks. A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful strikes a balance between the personal and the general, between the serious and the light, and reaches out to those who are passionate about food and those who are not; people from Iran or who know a fair bit about it and people from elsewhere. It haunts the reader with its heartfelt food memories, and provides an insight into a way of life, a time and place, and the experience of people who have left the place they grew up in.

36 review for A Sip, a Bite, a Mouthful: A memoir of food and growing up in Shiraz

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits The first thing I need to say about A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful is this is a book for which you will need snacks to hand. Lots of snacks! Hojabri's remembrances of the food from her childhood are so delicious and beautifully evoked that I could almost smell the cooking aromas emanating from the page. I was reminded of another foodie memoir I read, The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec, also exploring Iranian cuisine. The dishes and ingredient See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits The first thing I need to say about A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful is this is a book for which you will need snacks to hand. Lots of snacks! Hojabri's remembrances of the food from her childhood are so delicious and beautifully evoked that I could almost smell the cooking aromas emanating from the page. I was reminded of another foodie memoir I read, The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec, also exploring Iranian cuisine. The dishes and ingredient combinations all sound so good that I must get myself an Iranian recipe book and try to make the dishes myself. In A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful we do get a few recipes, but mostly Hojabri focuses on recounting memories surrounding particular foods and meals. I learned a lot about Iranian customs and attitudes towards food which was fascinating because I love discovering other cultures in this way. Hojabri emigrated from Iran in her twenties, and her childhood and teenage years were spent in two very different Irans, firstly the more secular society of the Shah's reign and then the strict Islamic interpretations of post-revolution Imam Khomeini. Adjusting to such a swift and drastic change of social customs must have been very difficult emotionally as well as in practical terms for the whole family. I feel I got a good sense of Hojabri's early life from reading A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful and am happy to have discovered this great memoir - even though it did make me very hungry!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sepi

    Delicious Memoires. Well written makes it irresistible, everyone wants to pick it up and read it. I love this book it is truly a treasure for those of you who enjoy food and learn about culture. There is so much love, understanding, patience and history behind every preparation. I like the use of Farsi terminology. There is enough history, few recipes and it is concise enough that even the most hurried can finish reading it fast and enjoying it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bernieh

    Afsaneh Hojabri has a wonderful writing style that readily evokes the sounds, smells and, of course, tastes of Shiraz. She had me yearning for cutlet and even Kaleh-pacheh. Her chapter on cooking Persian rice is definitive and it is an invaluable guide for the novice chef. I highly recommend this book for foodies and anyone interested in the evolving story of Iran.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tony T

    Waiting to read this book per my friend's recommendation. Hope it's good. Waiting to read this book per my friend's recommendation. Hope it's good.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Do not read this if you're on Diet of some sort! Every page of this book make you hungry for some Persian Food :0) Do not read this if you're on Diet of some sort! Every page of this book make you hungry for some Persian Food :0)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thren

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mireille

  8. 4 out of 5

    Argang

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alireza

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Rheault

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Shahidi

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mahbod

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nitya

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mitra

  15. 5 out of 5

    Masayu Mahmud

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Carpenter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sepi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ceil

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mitra Aghaei

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arezoo Rostami

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amir Hosein

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  27. 5 out of 5

    Giovanna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Khan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Rae Vasquez

  32. 5 out of 5

    Estelle Wilkinson

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tallulah A. Scribbles

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ashraf

  35. 4 out of 5

    Rida (Raindrop Reflections)

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ella

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