Thursday, 11 July 2019

A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful by Afsaneh Hojabri + #Giveaway

A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful by Afsaneh Hojabri
Published in Canada by Fleur Publications in August 2012.

One of my 2019 COYER Summer Hunt reads.
I am linking this review up with July 2019 Foodies Read at Based On A True Story

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook via Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A story of growing up in Shiraz of the 1960s told through memories of food and cuisine, A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful contains an account of Iranian customs, passions and rituals; it depicts a vivid picture of life in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran; and it touches on experiences of Iranian expatriates and the migration of their favourite foods, feasts, tastes and eating habits to the west. 

Engaging, intimate and frequently witty anecdotes are framed within a non-linear story and garnished with recipes for Southern shrimp stew, Northern stuffed fish, Shiraz herbal drinks and a bevy of other delicious foods and drinks.

A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful strikes a balance between the personal and the general, between the serious and the light, and reaches out to those who are passionate about food and those who are not; people from Iran or who know a fair bit about it and people from elsewhere. It haunts the reader with its heartfelt food memories, and provides an insight into a way of life, a time and place, and the experience of people who have left the place they grew up in.

The first thing I need to say about A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful is this is a book for which you will need snacks to hand. Lots of snacks! Hojabri's remembrances of the food from her childhood are so delicious and beautifully evoked that I could almost smell the cooking aromas emanating from the page. I was reminded of another foodie memoir I read, The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec, also exploring Iranian cuisine. The dishes and ingredient combinations all sound so good that I must get myself an Iranian recipe book and try to make the dishes myself. In A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful we do get a few recipes, but mostly Hojabri focuses on recounting memories surrounding particular foods and meals.

I learned a lot about Iranian customs and attitudes towards food which was fascinating because I love discovering other cultures in this way. Hojabri emigrated from Iran in her twenties, and her childhood and teenage years were spent in two very different Irans, firstly the more secular society of the Shah's reign and then the strict Islamic interpretations of post-revolution Imam Khomeini. Adjusting to such a swift and drastic change of social customs must have been very difficult emotionally as well as in practical terms for the whole family. I feel I got a good sense of Hojabri's early life from reading A Sip, A Bite, A Mouthful and am happy to have discovered this great memoir - even though it did make me very hungry!

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win a $10 Amazon gift card
(Open internationally until the 25th July 2019) 

Please enter using the Gleam widget below. The winner will be selected at random via Gleam from all valid entries and will be notified by email. If no response is received within 3 days then the winner will forfeit the prize and, yes, I will be checking that the winning task was actually carried out!
This giveaway is not affiliated with either the author or Amazon.

$10 Amazon GC from Literary Flits

Etsy Find!
by Feast By Louisa in
Tennessee, USA

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Afsaneh Hojabri / Biography and memoirs / Books from Iran


  1. It does sound like a fascinating read, and I'm going to look for it.

  2. Thanks for linking up with Foodies Read! This does sound like a fascinating book.

  3. I love Middle Eastern food and I love learning of other cultures. This sounds like a great read.

    1. I loved reading A Sip, A Bite and gleaned some good ideas to incorporate into my own cooking.

  4. This sounds a really interesting book

  5. This sounds like a great book, thanks for the giveaway too!

    1. You're welcome! Fingers crossed for everyone :-)

  6. Fantastic prize count me in please, great blog

  7. Sounds fabulous and great prize

  8. Congratulations to Georgina H who's won this $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!
    If that's not you, there's lots more giveaways running here: