Author(s): Felicia Campbell
In the Arabian Gulf, just east of Saudi Arabia and across the sea from Iran, the kitchens of Oman are filled with the enticing, mysterious aroma of a spice bazaar: musky black limes, earthy cloves, warming cinnamon, cumin, and coriander all play against the comforting scent of simmering basmati rice. Beyond these kitchens, the rocky crags of Jabal Akhdar tower, palm trees sway along the coast of Salalah, sand dunes ripple across Sharqiyah, and the calls to prayer echo from minarets throughout urban Muscat. In The Food of Oman, American food writer Felicia Campbell invites readers to journey with her into home kitchens, beachside barbeques, royal weddings, and humble teashops. Discover with her the incredible diversity of flavours and cultures in the tiny Sultanate of Oman. Omani cuisine is rooted in a Bedouin culture of hospitality-using whatever is on hand to feed a wandering stranger or a crowd of friends-and is infused with the rich bounty of interloping seafarers and overland Arabian caravan traders who, over the centuries, brought with them the flavours of East Africa, Persia, Asia, and beyond. In Oman, familiar ingredients mingle in exciting new ways: Zanzibari biryani is scented with rosewater and cloves, seafood soup is enlivened with hot red pepper and turmeric, green bananas are spiked with lime, green chili, and coconut. The recipes in The Food of Oman offer cooks a new world of flavours, techniques, and inspiration, while the lush photography and fascinating stories provide an introduction to the culture of a people whose adventurous palates and deep love of feeding and being fed gave rise to this unparalleled cuisine.
Felicia Campbell fell in love with the Middle East over plates of grilled chicken in Nineveh, Iraq, when she deployed there as a 19-year-old American soldier. That formative experience ignited a lifelong passion for the people, culture, and food of the region, and she has spent the last decade seeking out and sharing stories from the Arab and Islamic world. She holds a master's degree in food culture from New York University and is an IACP Award-nominated food writer and editor at the nationally acclaimed food and travel magazine, Saveur, in New York City.