RED SANDS

Red Sands: Reportage and Recipes Through Central Asia, from Hinterland to Heartland (Quadrille, 2020)

‘Caroline Eden is an extraordinarily creative and gifted writer. Red Sands captures the sights, tastes and feel of Central Asia so well that when reading this book I was sometimes convinced I was there in person. A wonderful book from start to finish.’

Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

‘Beautifully written, quietly personal, generous, rich with detail, I absolutely loved this book.’

Diana Henry

Red Sands presents a gathering of prose, recipes and photographs, all capturing the spirit of Central Asia, a region so often misrepresented and misunderstood.

Following a decade of writing about Uzbekistan and its neighbouring countries (the ‘stans), during the spring and autumn of 2019 I spent six months on the ground developing stories and chasing leads. My primary aim for Red Sands is to reveal a different portrait of Central Asia, using food as an agent, device and theme, while also preserving on paper something of these countries as they rapidly develop and open up to the world.

Beginning on the shores of the Caspian Sea, in oil-rich Kazakhstan, we head into the kitchens of underground desert mosques, through the world’s largest walnut forests in Kyrgyzstan, to remote orchards in Tajikistan, into cafés and canteens in Uzbekistan’s leafy capital and to dining rooms in Soviet-era sanatoriums, all the while exploring how food mirrors and shapes landscapes, history and culture.

Lit up by emblematic recipes, Red Sands is filled with human stories, forgotten histories and tales of adventure, while bringing in universal themes that relate to us all: hope, hunger, longing, love and the joys of eating well on the road.

You can buy it here