Winner: Best Book/Arab Cuisine/USA 2013
Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
and at these fine indie bookstores (see below)
MINT TEA AND MINARETS:
A Banquet of Moroccan Memories
Finalist in the San Diego Book Awards (June 2012)
Signed copy, tax and shipping (media mail in the US only)
Please email me at kitty at kittymorse.com for details or order.
32 original recipes and
99 color food and location shots
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TO VIEW a 57-PAGE FLIP-BOOK EXCERPT
Reviews for Mint Tea and Minarets:
A Traveler’s Library:
*Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.”
21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Mint Tea + Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan Memories
Author: Kitty Morse
Judge Number: 54
Entry Category: Nonfiction
“Moroccan customs and cuisine are vividly captured in this absorbing memoir that also offers an intriguing familial history involving property. Chapters are interspersed with abundant recipes for choice appetizers, entrees and drinks. The colorful blend of Arabic and French influences, as well as languages, deepen the sweeping cultural interest. One can get the feel and pulse of Moroccan life through the eyes of the author, who was born in Morocco. The dialogue enhances the style and pace of Moroccan life. Many fine atmospheric photos – of places, people and foods – grace the pages of the oversized book. The writing is personal and filled with many revealing insights while deftly describing the author’s many experiences in her homeland with a variety of people. Chapter breaks enable smooth reading. Many of the photos, though, lack captions so the reader doesn’t know what destination is shown or other pertinent information. A
World War II message from President Roosevelt, signed by General Eisenhower, is only shown in French and Arabic but not in English (Author’s NOTE: It doesn’t exist in English! it was meant for “locals.”) The recipes with accompanying photos have all the needed ingredients spelled out in clear detail. Maps — one
historical – offer another dimension but another map showing Morocco’s place in North Africa would be useful. A glossary of terms and foods used in the book is an excellent touch. The cover design is very visual and the clever title is a tongue pleaser.”
And may I add these kind words from readers (reprinted with permission)
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 2:02 PM
Subject: Mint Tea and Minarets
“Three hours ago, dear Kitty, I started reading your new book and suddenly I realized that I had forgotten lunch! What a treasure of a book, fascinating text, engaging photos, old maps – that was a big job!!”
“You are also a great inspiration to many and, as your #1 fan on the east coast, I’d like to say you fall in the same category as our beloved friend Julia. I would love to meet you if you ever do a trip to the Baltimore-Washington area. My best as always!”
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 1:53 PM
“May I order another copy? A friend is having a birthday and this book is perfect. I’ve been sharing it and everyone loves it. Write another!”
“Just finished your latest book. Loved it . . . Each page led to the next
delicious recipe. Tantalizing!”
On Jun 2, 2013, at 3:34 PM, Bill wrote:
“I read your book’s narrative and found it fascinating and enjoyable. My wife, Bea, of 47 years had ordered it direct from you and you so kindly signed it to her.
Question: Do you still own the Morocco property, after all those years of litigation? (Yes, I do!) Bea has more than 2,000 cookbooks in her ever-growing collection and yours isamong those she prizes the most. I have been the direct beneficiary of my wife’s great cooking. I am a retired journalist and presently a freelance writer. You are a superb writer and your laid-back style makes for comfortable reading. Let’s have some more books with a format similar to this one.”Bill
“Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed “Mint Tea and Minarets”. It was a labor of love on many levels – love of your father, Dar Zitoun and Moroccan cuisine. Your colorful descriptions allowed me to experience the sights and sounds, fragrances and flavors of this exotic and mysterious culture. Thank you to Owen for the vivid photography, so evocative – I have surprised myself and tried a few of the recipes.”
April 2013 SAVEUR magazine.
Gherkins and Tomatoes blog: a cuisine created by slave women: a review of kitty morse’s mint tea and minarets
Union-Tribune, San Diego
Behold, a singular structure soars above the banks of the Oum er-Rbia, Mother of Spring River, within the ramparts of the 16th century medina of Azemmour — Dar Zitoun, erstwhile “House of the Pasha.” Kitty, an expert on Moroccan cuisine, and author of Mint Tea and Minarets, warmly coaxes you into the kitchen of her late father’s painstakingly restored riad, Moorish mansion, to savor a banquet of Moroccan memories. From tagines to couscous, without forsaking bestila, Dar Zitoun has many delicious stories to tell. Generations of cooks and centuries of celebration there sweeten the invitation.
An hour south of Kitty’s native Casablanca, scour the Azemmour souk for seasonal ingredients, then meet Dar Zitoun’s gifted cuisinier Bouchaib to concoct aromatic tagines and other Moroccan dishes. In the footfall of her father, Kitty uncovers the provenance of her culinary passion: Dar Zitoun was an ancient cooking school. Follow her as she seeks out bibi beldi, free-range turkey, at a farm on the Doukkala plain and is instructed in falconry by Kwacem tribesmen, the only commoners authorized to capture and train the raptors. Frequent a Bedouin camel market, consult with a practitioner of native medicine, and hunt for the source of the Oum er-Rbia in the High Atlas Mountains.
Having grown up in North Africa during the French Protectorate, a unique time in history, the author has a pied-noir’s rarified perspective. Fresh burdens as executor of her father’s estate help build an appetite, while each chapter divulges a recipe that matches the tale just told. Meanwhile, Morocco’s Byzantine legal system introduces an amusing cast of other-cultured characters in this window into the mosaic that characterizes the northwest corner of Africa, Al Mahgreb Al Aqsa, The Land Where the Sun Sets.
Dar Zitoun! The name alone hints at the mystery and history of Kitty Morse’s family riad (Moorish mansion). Hers is a life unlike any other, with rich tales of the Moroccan history of her fascinating family. Weaving lively characters with spectacular recipes of the region, Morse captivates readers with provocative memories and enticing dishes. A fascinating read.
— ANTONIA ALLEGRA, director, Symposium for Professional Food Writers
Kitty Morse’s story is deliciously human — witty, warm and suspenseful — as complex and flavor-laden as a Moroccan tagine. The heart, soul and mouth of Morocco are all here, offered in full vibrant color by a native-born insider who takes us from kitchen to souk to courthouse in her Dickensian quest to save the heritage of her father’s home. Even for the experienced traveler, this is a book that will drive you either to book a flight to Morocco right now — or at least run to the kitchen to cook a tagine.
— BETTY FUSSELL, author of My Kitchen Wars and Raising Steaks
Mint Tea and Minarets is a graceful and touching tale, not only of a life, but also of the complex shadings of life in Morocco that only one who has lived there (and speaks Arabic and French) can know. I love a book you can’t put down, and this is certainly one. It’s a treasure.
— DEBORAH MADISON, author of Local Flavors and other books
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