After fleeing war in Armenia and relocating from Azerbaijan, Olia Hercules’ family settled in Kyiv, Ukraine, a cultural and culinary crossroads. Her cookbook celebrates the many shared and borrowed cooking techniques and dishes that span the Caucasus. Yemeni tomato salad with green chiles and chopped lemon with its peel shows up at a friend’s home in Georgia. Her favorite Azerbaijani plov, or pilaf, marries Turkish and Persian cuisines. A tomato and raspberry salad mixes a little of Tbilisi with Hungarian flavors (by way of Bar Tartine in San Francisco). Plus: an entire chapter titled Pain, Be Gone! “I thought this would be the ‘hangover’ chapter,” Hercules writes, “but actually this is a chapter for those who need nourishment.”
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