Stanfords loves The Palestinian Table
Reem Kassis's book on this highly cultured part of the Levant is up for an Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award
Stanfords, as every well-travelled Londoner knows, is the place to go for worldly publications. The book and map shop on Long Acre in Covent Garden has been supplying excited British travellers with maps and books for over a century.
However, Stanfords also recognises great travel writing, by co-sponsoring the annual Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. Previous winners include Bill Bryson and Michael Palin - pretty distinguished company - and this year, in the award's cookery section, Phaidon's Reem Kassis is up for a prize, for her book The Palestinian Table.
It's a worthy selection for the shortlist, not only on the strength of its novel, tasty recipes, but also for its evocative, biographical details, describing life in this heavily contested part of the world, not from a political point of view, but from a far more humane, gastronomic and familial perspective - the story of Reem's mother acting as chief food taster for her whole village is worth the cover price alone.