This is the tale of a journey between three great cities – Odessa,built on a dream by Catherine the Great, through Istanbul, the fulcrum balancing Europe and Asia and on to tough, stoic, lyrical Trabzon.
With a nose for a good recipe and an ear for an extraordinary story, Caroline Eden travels from Odessa to Bessarabia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey's Black Sea region, exploring interconnecting culinary cultures. From the Jewish table of Odessa, to meeting the last fisherwoman of Bulgaria and charting the legacies of the White Russian émigrés in Istanbul, Caroline gives readers a unique insight into a part of the world that is both shaded by darkness and illuminated by light.
Meticulously researched and documenting unprecedented meetings with remarkable individuals, Black Sea is like no other piece of travel writing. Packed with rich photography and sumptuous food, this biography of a region, its people and its recipes truly breaks new ground.
About the Author
Caroline Eden is a travel and food writer focusing on the former Soviet Union and south Asia. She has written for various publications including the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and the Guardian. She writes a weekly travel page for London's Metro newspaper. Caroline's first book, Samarkand, won the Guild of Food Writers Award for best food and travel book in 2017. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
'A genuinely erudite dive into the cultures that meet at the Black Sea. Beautiful enough for the coffee table but fascinating enough for the nightstand and useful in the kitchen, too.' -Tim Hayward, Financial Times
WINNER Travel Food and Drink Book of the Year, 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards
WINNER John Avery Award, 2018 André Simon Award
'Witty, wry and wise . a wholly original and vibrant new format . a triumph.' -Historian and author Owen Matthews, Cornucopia Magazine
'The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden - a warm, erudite and greedy guide - is to read her. This is my kind of book.' -Diana Henry
'Part travelogue, part recipe book, this is a love letter to the sea that welcomes strangers, soaked in colour, history, myth and the flavours of many cultures.' -Nick Hunt author of Where the Wild Winds Are
'Packed with human stories as well as history, giving the recipes a significance and resonance.' -Diana Henry, Sunday Telegraph
'It's her writing - elegant, fluid and as mesmerising as the Black Sea itself - that captures and holds your attention and imagination throughout this journey.' -Julia Platt Leonard, The Independent
'I don't think I've ever been this excited about a book delivery, ever. Caroline Eden has written a masterpiece.' -Olia Hercules
'I can't remember the last time I was so enthralled by a cookbook or a travel narrative. The quality of writing is outstanding. And the way the recipes are used to conjure up a sense of history, geography and atmosphere is ingenious.' -Fuchsia Dunlop
'Erudite without being stuffy, Eden writes with finesse and subtlety about regional traditions . Enticing to home cooks and armchair travelers alike, Eden's spectacular cookbook transports readers to the Black Sea.'-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'Caroline Eden's book is a fascinating journey from Odessa in Ukraine to Trabzon in Turkey via historical menus, personal stories and hunger-stoking recipes. It's a luminous piece of travel writing on the area.' -Meera Sodha, judge 2018 André Simon Award
'Carefully researched and beautifully written, it's a treat for armchair explorers and cooks with inquisitive palates.' -delicious magazine
'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' -Viv Groskop, author of The Anna Karenina Fix