Unlike so many of the national cookbooks, this one makes no attempt to follow the soup to nuts procedure, but instead holds closely to characteristic dishes, ways of preparing foods, and ceremonial foods and menus for feasts and fasts. There is a glossary of terms- very brief space given to ingredients, herbs in particular, special flours, and something of the closeness of the Syrian (or interchangeably the Lebanese) to the regulations of his church. Certainly a quarter of the book is devoted to Lenten observance and Lenten dishes. The chief characteristics that emerge from scanning these recipes is the recurrent use of such things as yogurt, a cracked wheat (sold here as burghol) used in preparing the Syrian national dish, kibby, lentils, lamb the predominant meat (occasionally veal), marinating meats before cooking- and delectably rich desserts. The menus lack the variety we are accustomed to- but many of the recipes sound enticing. At the end of the book is a list of sources in the USA. The whole has a consistently foreign flavor.