DUBAI: Luxury US publisher Assouline on Tuesday added two new books to its Saudi series — “Saudi Dates: A Portrait of the Sacred Fruit” and “Saudi Coffee: The Culture of Hospitality,” created in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Culture.
“Saudi Dates: A Portrait of the Sacred Fruit,” by Mohammed Bin Ismail Al-Ismail, explores the many facets of this fruit. Original photography by photographer and author Oliver Pilcher and illustrations by painter Rafael Alterio are supplemented by images by Saudi photographer Ayoub Alsuhaibani.
Saudi Arabia is home to the world’s largest date palm oasis which is also a UNESCO Heritage site. A great pride of the country, dates are also the perfect coffee accompaniment.
In the Kingdom, coffee is a symbol of hospitality, national pride and time-honored traditions. Grown mainly in the southwest of the country, coffee beans are carefully tended, harvested and roasted according to methods particular to each region, which provides a variety of flavors and aromas.
“Saudi Coffee: The Culture of Hospitality,” by Maher Al-Nammary, examines the region’s coffee, from seedling to refreshment. Pilcher’s pictures and Alterio’s illustrations are supplemented by images by Saudi artists Ibrahim Sarhan, Mohammed Albaijan and Dhafer Alshehri.
Al-Nammary is a Saudi chef, hospitality professional and culinary educator with the goal of bridging cultures and fostering understanding through food and art.