Sarina Roffé grew up in the Syrian Jewish neighborhood of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Food is an integral component of her culture, and she first learned to cook by helping her mother and grandmother in the kitchen. Likewise, the family ran a catering business, so there were many opportunities to make traditional foods. This is her second book, the first one focused on salad recipes, to ensure that the family recipes could be passed down to future generations. (All the proceeds from the sale of this book support the Sephardic Heritage Project.)
The book begins with a bit of family history and background on Mediterranean food and culture. It is divided up into chapters devoted to particular food groups, including: rice and couscous, fish, dairy, chicken, red meat, stuffed vegetables, and sauces. The recipes are written clearly, making for an easy cooking experience. Additionally, many use canned and frozen vegetables, dried onion soup mix, and canned cream of mushroom soup — items that have a long shelf life. The book is spiral bound, which makes it convenient to stand up in the kitchen as well.
There are some cooking tips — refrigerating onions makes them less irritating to the eyes when slicing — and basic information about kashrut included in the book too. Photos show off the food nicely — this is a helpful introduction to Syrian Jewish cuisine.