Black Sea is a truly beautiful book, a most lovely marriage of cookbook, travel writing, and photography. Caroline Eden winds her way along the coast of the titular sea, exploring not just food and history but people and spirit. Open these pages for a breath of clean salt air and ancient flavors (with accessible, modern twists), and a journey you may never take yourself—but may not need to, with Eden having paved the way with words.
Winner of the Art of Eating Prize 2020
Winner of the Guild of Food Writers' Best Food Book Award 2019
Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food and Drink Book Award 2019
Winner of the John Avery Award at the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards for 2018
Shortlisted for the James Beard International Cookbook Award
'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
'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' Viv Groskop, author of The Anna Karenina Fix
'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
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.
'Eden's blazing talent and unabashedly greedy curiosity will have you strapped in beside her. If Sybille Bedford or Patrick Leigh Fermor had included a few recipes in their accounts of their journeys, you'd know exactly where to shelve this gem.' Christine Muhlke, The New York Times
'The food in Black Sea is wonderful, but it's Eden's prose that really elevates this book to the extraordinary. She captures people, history, and the ineffable soul of cities with astonishing, almost novelistic precision – more than once, even in the headnotes, I felt myself getting lost in the world of the story. I can't remember any cookbook that's drawn me in quite like this.' Helen Rosner, Art of Eating judge
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.
WINNER Travel Food and Drink Book of the Year, 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards
'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
'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' -Viv Groskop, author of The Anna Karenina Fix
'Carefully researched and beautifully written, it's a treat for armchair explorers and cooks with inquisitive palates.' -delicious magazine
'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
'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)
'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
'I don't think I've ever been this excited about a book delivery, ever. Caroline Eden has written a masterpiece.' -Olia Hercules
'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
'Packed with human stories as well as history, giving the recipes a significance and resonance.' -Diana Henry, Sunday Telegraph
'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
'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
'The recipes become almost like another kind of illustration; they punctuate Eden's travel writing and offer readers a way to connect with places they haven't been, people they haven't met.' -Food & Wine
'Witty, wry and wise . a wholly original and vibrant new format . a triumph.' -Historian and author Owen Matthews, Cornucopia Magazine
WINNER Best Food Book Award 2019, Guild of Food Writers Awards