Aromas of Aleppo

Aromas of Aleppo

The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews

By Poopa Dweck; Michael J. Cohen; Quentin Bacon (Photographer)

Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780060888183, 388pp.

Publication Date: August 2007


When the Aleppian Jewish community migrated from the ancient city of Aleppo in historic Syria and settled in New York and Latin American cities in the early 20th century, it brought its rich cuisine and vibrant culture. Most Syrian recipes and traditions, however, were not written down and existed only in the minds of older generations. Poopa Dweck, a first generation Syrian-Jewish American, has devoted much of her life to preserving and celebrating her community's centuries-old legacy.

Dweck relates the history and culture of her community through its extraordinary cuisine, offering more than 180 exciting ethnic recipes with tantalizing photos and describing the unique customs that the Aleppian Jewish community observes during holidays and lifecycle events. Among the irresistible recipes are:

-Bazargan-Tangy Tamarind Bulgur Salad

-Shurbat Addes-Hearty Red Lentil Soup with Garlic and Coriander

-Kibbeh-Stuffed Syrian Meatballs with Ground Rice

-Samak b'Batata-Baked Middle Eastern Whole Fish with Potatoes

-Sambousak-Buttery Cheese-Filled Sesame Pastries

-Eras bi'Ajweh-Date-Filled Crescents

-Chai Na'na-Refreshing Mint Tea

Like mainstream Middle Eastern cuisines, Aleppian Jewish dishes are alive with flavor and healthful ingredients-featuring whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and olive oil-but with their own distinct cultural influences. In Aromas of Aleppo, cooks will discover the best of Poopa Dweck's recipes, which gracefully combine Mediterranean and Levantine influences, and range from small delights (or maza) to daily meals and regal holiday feasts-such as the twelve-course Passover seder.

About the Author
Poopa Dweck is an expert on Aleppian Jewish cookery and the creator of Deal Delights cookbooks. A highly active community leader, she frequently lectures and performs cooking demonstrations. She is also the founder of the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center and Daughters of Sarah and the cofounder of the Sephardic Women s Organization. Dweck lives in Deal, New Jersey, with her husband, and has five children.

Michael J. Cohen has been living, learning, and teaching in the outdoors for more than fifty years. He has founded environmental degree programs with the Lesley College Graduate School and the Institute of Global Education. He currently directs Project NatureConnect, a workshop and Internet program for socially responsible environmental education.

QUENTIN BACON is a top food photographer whose work has appeared in magazines such as Food & Wine and Real Simple as well as in many cookbooks, including Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, Holiday Food by Mario Batali, R.S.V.P. by Nan Kempner, Cakewalk by Margaret Braun, Our Latin Table by Fernando Saralegui, and Dinner After Dark by Colin Cowie. His Web site is

Praise For Aromas of Aleppo

“The intriguing recipes inspired me to head for my kitchen, but the story kept me in my chair, riveted.”
-New York Times

“Poopa Dweck has put together such a wonderful collection of delicious recipes.”
-Claudia Roden, author of The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food

“Aromas of Aleppo is as enticing to read through as to cook from.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“[Poopa Dweck] has made it her task to preserve their venerable cuisine in its fullness.”
-Los Angeles Times

“The large-format book could be relegated to the coffee table but won’t be.”
-Chicago Tribune

“Tinged with the bittersweet memories of a community that lovingly upholds table traditions of the city that evicted all its members.”
-New York Sun

-No Source