Fast, fun, and easy cookbooks major hit at SIBF 2020

Fast, fun, and easy cookbooks major hit at SIBF 2020

With the pandemic having brought about a shift in the way people eat, cookbooks that feature easy-to-make, healthy choices are becoming popular

Sharjah, November 13, 2020

It is a voluminous tome of 800 pages, but with step-by-step cooking instructions accompanied by enticing photographs, Culina Mediterranea has been flying off the shelves at the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair currently on at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

Mediterranean cooking has been exceptionally popular at SIBF 2020, assert publishers exhibiting at the
11-day book fair, who attest to a growing demand for fresh, healthy, and flavourful food following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which has led to a conscious shift to a healthier way of eating.

Culina Mediterranea features 380 traditional and original recipes drawn from the entire Mediterranean region, contributed by more than 90 chefs from across eight countries. Dishes featured in the book include those from Spain, France, and Italy to Greece and Turkey, all the way to Malta, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Culina Mundi, which features cuisines of the world, has also been equally popular at the Lebanon-based Bookeria located at the N28 stand in Hall 06.

At UAE’s Ciel Publishers & Distributors, located at L2 in Hall 06, the fast-moving books are Everyday Lebanese Cooking by Mona Hamadeh which has an emphasis on fresh produce and encompasses a mix of dairy products, meat, fresh vegetables and fruits, and Salma Hage’s The Mezze Cookbook, featuring 135 home-cooking recipes of both meat-based and vegetarian dishes. Exploring the regional diversity of Middle Eastern sharing dishes, the dishes featured in the award-winning author’s book ranges from Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Smoked Paprika to Pistachio and Pomegranate Cakes.

A clear bestseller at Ciel is Simple Healthy – The Easiest Light Cookbook in the World by Jean-Francois Mallet which features 200 recipes – all with no more than five steps and six ingredients or less that allows you to enjoy a delicious meal in minutes. Targeting both the novice and gourmand alike, the book features health-conscious dishes such as Shrimp Spring Rolls, Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho, Thai-style Spiced Scallops, and Ginger and Lemongrass Chicken, amongst others.

Featuring innumerable combinations of vegetables, grains, meat, and fish, Nourish Bowls, provides meal-time inspiration for creating inventive and delicious bowls of a current health food trend. 

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown which shifted consumer habits from eating on the go to a more renewed focus on healthier and cook-at-home meals, has also spawned an interest in baking, especially amongst the younger generation, said Michael El Khoury, Operations Manager at Ciel, UAE. “Although bread appears to be the baking project of choice – prompted perhaps by the extra time at home, teenagers have been picking up books on baking cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, and macaroons.”

Bookeria has currently exhausted all copies of its easy-to-bake books while at Ciel, you can find Tarts & Pies, a tart-shaped 50-recipe book, The Baking Bible, Secrets of Macaroons, Chocolate, and Hershey’s Kisses Brand Recipes, amongst others.

The 150-recipe series, Inspired Ideas for Everyday Cooking, and the 20 easy-to-make recipes in the Everyday Dishes series featuring cuisines from Mexico, Italy, Thailand, and China, are also a hit with the SIBF visitors thanks to the versatility of the dishes.

Books by popular chefs, Jamie Olivier and Gordon Ramsay, continue to inspire both men and women in the UAE. Chef Ramsay’s Quick & Delicious is an inspired collection of recipes for the time-pressed home cook while British chef Jamie Olivier’s Cook Your Way to the Good Life is all about simple cooking with great flavours all year round.


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