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How North African Food Became a Staple at the Table                                     

A new book, The North African Cookbook, represents 20 years of work by cook and author, Jeff Koehler, and is the largest compendium of Maghrebi cuisine ever written. Focusing on the dishes of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and western Libya, the book espouses former Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba’s definition of the Maghreb as the lands where people eat couscous.The North African Cookbook features several Tunsian seafood pasta recipes — a testament to the central role the coastline plays in the gastronomy of this most Mediterranean of Maghrebi countries — alongside makrouna arbi: a hot chicken, potatoes, and chickpeas dish that translate into “Arab pasta” as if to say, as Koehler writes, “it is Tunisia’s own and not an Italian import.”