At only 16 years of age when the Islamic Revolution took over her homeland of Iran, Donia Bijan came west to the United States, soon followed by her dutiful parents. With her former world in upheaval, Donia comes to embrace her place caught between two worlds, two cultures through cooking lessons with her mom, and time spent in the kitchen. Fostering a growing love for food, Bijan enrolls at a cooking school in Paris, bridging her love for food, with her quest for finding just where she belongs in the world.
When I first received this book. I thought it would be something similar to Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas, another Bay Area Persian-American writer. Maman’s Homesick Pie is a 1 part cookbook and 1 part touching portrayal of Bijan’s mother. Although her mother died in a terrible and brutal manner by a hit & run car accident, her memory, loyalty and influence are ever-present in Donia’s everyday actions, particularly in the kitchen. With her mother’s never-failing love and support through all endeavors, Donia is able to fulfill her dream of perfecting her cooking abilities and even opening her own Persian-French inspired restaurant in Palo Alto, Ca. I am sad to say that this restaurant closes its doors a few years ago, but tops the list at “Restaurants that should re-open” on Yelp.
This book belongs in the kitchen along with all the other cookbooks because of the variety of recipes that conclude each chapter. I greatly appreciate the recipes, because many of these Persian dishes are the same ones, if not variations of the meals I ate at home living with my parents. It is not easy finding excellent Armenian or Persian cookbook in English, let me tell you. If you know where I can find them, please let me know!!
This is a fantastic book for foodies, and especially for mothers & daughters who share a tight bond.