Assouline Launches New Saudi Arabia Dates and Coffee Books

If you’re looking for the perfect coffee table book for your home, look no further than the stunning Assouline collection. Having started in 1994 in Paris by Prosper and Martine Assouline, the Assouline books have become world famous for their vibrant colours, stunning photography and compelling narratives. They have three main collections which include the Ultimates, Legends and Classics, all of which cover everything from food to travel to fashion. 

To celebrate Eid, Assouline have just launched two new books as part of their Kingdom of Saudi Arabia collection: Saudi Dates: A Portrait of the Sacred Fruit and Saudi Coffee: The Culture of Hospitality. The perfect combination especially for Ramadan when all we really want is a cup of coffee with a sweet caramel-like date!

Saudi Coffee: The Culture of Hospitality

This title explores the heavy symbolism of coffee in Saudi Arabia. Grown mainly in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, the beans are harvested and roasted specifically to each region’s method, allowing for a variety of aromas and flavours across the country. The addition of cinnamon, cardamom and saffron into Arabic coffee is not uncommon either and has been in practice for hundreds of years, if not thousands when coffee was first consumed in the Arabian Peninsula by the Sufis in the 15th Century. 

The book has been put together with the help of Maher Raed Al Nammar, a Saudi Arabian chef and hospitality professional, alongside photography by Oliver Pilcher with Ibrahim Sarhan, Mohammed Albaijan and Dhafer Alshehri, so you can expect beautiful imagery of Saudi coffee from seeds right up to brewing. 

Saudi Dates: A Portrait of the Sacred Fruit

With dates being the most sacred fruits in Islam, Saudi Arabia has ensured that their date palms are well looked after and cultivated to produce some of the world’s best dates. The Al-Ahsa date palm oasis, located on the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, is the largest in the world with over 2.5 million date palms and is recognised as an UNESCO heritage site. 

The book has been created by Mohammed Bin Ismail Al-Ismai, the  Head of King Abdullah international city for dates and a specialist when it comes to palm trees and date farming. The journey of the date-farming process has been captured by Oliver Pilcher and illustrations by Rafael Alterio. 

The books are now available to purchase at the Maison Assouline global flagship store in Piccadilly, London. The store alone is worth the visit with it’s cosy vintage vibe and floor to ceiling shelves filled with the entire Assouline book collection. You’ll also be able to enjoy some non-alcoholic cocktails at the onsite Swans Bar, which has a menu inspired by the popular travel books.

Find them at 196A Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EY. 

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