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Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories


Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories



     Behold, a singular structure soars above the banks of the Oum er-Rbia, Mother of Spring River, within the ramparts of the 16thcentury medina of Azemmour — Dar Zitoun, erstwhile “House of the Pasha.” Into her late father’s painstakingly restored riad, Moorish mansion, the author of Mint Tea and Minarets, an expert on Moroccan cuisine and heir to the property, warmly coaxes you. Generations of cooks and centuries of celebration there sweeten the invitation. Dar Zitoun has many delicious stories to tell.


     An hour south of the author’s native Casablanca, scour the Azemmour souk for seasonal ingredients, then meet Dar Zitoun’s gifted cuisinier/gardien Bouchaïb to concoct aromatic tagines. In the footfall of her recently deceased father, the author uncovers the provenance of her culinary passion: Dar Zitoun was an ancient cooking school.  Follow Kitty 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 local camel market 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’srarified perspective. Fresh burdens as her father’s executor, including a marathon quest for the riad’s title through Morocco’s Byzantine legal system, help build an appetite, as do the family recipes that accompany the tales just told and the amusing cast of characters in this cultural mosaic that characterizes the northwest corner of Africa, Al Mahgreb Al Aqsa, Land Where the Sun Sets.  




Praise for Mint Tea and Minarets:


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 Minaretsis 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 Flavorsand other books


About Kitty Morse

     Kitty was born in Casablanca of a French mother and British father. She immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen. She is the author of nine cookbooks, five of them on the cuisine of Morocco and North Africa. Couscous (Chronicle Books, 2000) was a nominee for Jacob’s Creek Best Softcover; Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books, 1999), first place winner at the 1999 San Diego Book Awards, was a finalist for Michelin Australia’s Best Food Book, and remains a Chronicle best-selling cookbook.


     Kitty’s career as a food writer, travel writer, cooking teacher, and public speaker spans more than twenty-five years. Her articles have appeared in leading publications in the United States and abroad. A highlight of her career was cooking alongside Julia Child to benefit the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She has appeared on the Food TV Network, CNN, the Discovery Channel, as well as on Moroccan national television. From 1983 to 2007, she organized and led an annual culinary tour to Morocco that included cooking demonstrations at Dar Zitoun.


Contact: Kitty Morse



Also by Kitty Morse


Come with Me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco


The California Farm Cookbook


365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian


Edible Flowers Poster


Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion


The Vegetarian Table: North Africa


Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from My Moroccan Kitchen


Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes


The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco


A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table (2nd edition)


327 Pages. 105 color food and location shots. 32 original recipes.

7¼”x9” upright

Perfect bound

Suggested price: $30.00


ISBN:  978-0-9852164-4-3


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