Recipe for adventure
A new romance heats up in a foreign kitchen
For Canadian Jennifer Klinec, there is no international destination too remote, no recipe too esoteric and no cooking technique she can’t master and pass on.
In her new book, The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran, she takes an extraordinary journey into the kitchens of the nation’s hidden women. On her list to explore are sensual Persian recipes like saffron-scented ice cream and long-simmered stews of chicken and plums and quinces.
She arrives in Yadz, Iran, where she meets Vahid — a traditional man six years her junior. He takes her to his mother’s kitchen, where she learns such local culinary techniques as how to “turn pistachio omelettes with her fingers.”
Soon Vahid and Klinec’s relationship takes a romantic turn (heightened by an unexpectedly intense visit to a camel abattoir). Their illegal love affair forces them to confront their own cultural values.
Klinec offers an insightful take on the status of Iranian women in a complex culture. At the same time, through her descriptions of fragrant herbs, salty plumsand the preparation of elaborate dishes, she fills the pages with the tastes and scents of Iran. Most of all, Klinec illustrates that what we eat is about more than what we put into our mouths — it’s a window into history and culture. Sometimes, it’s a path to love. The Temporary Bride, Jennifer Klinec, $23.
— Emma Waverman