To help keep these memories fresh, she collected proceeds from the many Jewish refugees passing through London in search of new homes. As a wife and mother, she cooked these dishes for her family, cobbling together sketchy instructions to make them work. She dove into translations of medieval Arabic cookbooks to learn more about the origins of these dishes and wrote about them for newspapers. His 1968 cookbook, “A Middle Eastern Cookbook, The first of many bestsellers, is widely credited with sparking the popularity of hummus and other Mediterranean classics in the Western world today.
“Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean: Valuable Recipes from a Lifetime of Travel(Ten Speed, $ 40) takes on a deeply personal turn, centering on the unlimited solo journey across the Mediterranean that she embarked on after her children left home 35 years ago. Now in the mid-1980s, she continues to prepare meals shaped by these experiences in her London kitchen, tailored to the dietary preferences of her guests as well as her own. Meat is still on their menus, but less frequently than the whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seafood so popular in the Mediterranean diet.