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Period Middle Easten food. References. Recipes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: fd-Byzantine-msg, fd-Turkey-msg, fd-Spain-msg, Arabs-msg, Ethiopia-msg, Jews-msg, Khazars-msg, Moors-msg, murri-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 16:03:14 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - advice/help:  shish kebabs period?

 

>       Can anyone give an estimation of whether the concept of shish kebab

> is period?  (I'm not talking about California kay-bobs with cherry

> tomatoes, bell peppers and pineapple here.  I'm just looking for a skewer

> or blade with meats impaled on it and grilled thusly; and how they were

> seasoned.)

>

>               - kat

 

Maybe this will help you.  It's from a web site with some information about

historic Turkish cuisine.

 

(quote)

Another work which enlightens the same period is the Dede Korkut Hikayeleri

(The Tales of Dede Korkut) compiled towards the end of the 14th century.

These twelve tales are a rich source of information about the customs of the

Oghuz Turks who lived in the southwestern Asia. Yahni (stew), kebabs (food

on skewers), togya corbasi (a soup made from wheat flour and yoghurt),

clotted cream, yoghurt, cheese, milk, ayran, koumiss, and wine were all

consumed in the Tales of Dede Korkut.

(end quote)

 

Should you wish to look the site over, the URL is:

http://palette.ecn.purdue.edu/~akcali/history.cuisine.html

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 22:59:00 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - advice/help:  shish kebabs period?

 

At 1:12 PM -0700 5/8/98, kat wrote:

> Can anyone give an estimation of whether the concept of shish kebabis period?

 

The 13th c. Andalusian cookbook has one recipe that says: "Take pieces of

meat without bones and cut them as for shishkebab." So assuming the

translation can be trusted--and Charles Perry, the translator, knows more

about medieval Islamic cooking than anyone else I know--the answer to your

question is yes.

 

I believe, incidentally, that "kebab" simply means "meatball," although I'm

not certain.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 05:27:46 -0500

From: a14h at zebra.net (William Seibert)

Subject: Re: SC - advice/help:  shish kebabs period?

 

Hans Wehr Dictionary of Written Arabic gives:

 

KBAB (kaf bab alef bab) fried or broiled meat; cabobs; meat

roasted in small pieces on a skewer; a kind of meatballs made of

finely chopped meat (syrian, egyptian).

 

WAJDI

 

 

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 14:42:12 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - advice/help:  shish kebabs period?

 

At 1:12 PM -0700 5/8/98, kat wrote:

>       Can anyone give an estimation of whether the concept of shish kebab

>is period?

 

Here is one we have tried only once; as I remember, it was pretty good.

Don't know if the marinade is too "wierd" for your problem person.

 

Meat Roasted Over Coals

Andalusian

 

Cut the meat however you wish and throw on a spoon of oil and another of

murri, salt, coriander seed, pepper and thyme; leave for a while until it

has absorbed the spices, prepare without smoke and roast on a spit and

watch it. [end of original]

 

meat: 2 lb lamb

1/4 c murri

1/4 c oil

1/2 t salt

1 t coriander

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t pepper

 

Mix all ingredients except meat to make a marinade.  Cut meat into 1"

cubes, mix into marinade.  Let sit one hour.  Roast (time not noted).

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 12:58:21 +1000

From: "Susan P Laing" <Susan.P.Laing at mainroads.qld.gov.au>

Subject: SC - Medieval arab cookery book

 

Quick check of "British Books in Print" shows -

 

Medieval Arab Cookery

by    Rodinson Maxime etc.  ( Yeomans Barbara (Tr.); Roden Claudia (Ed.) )

Prospect Bks.   Dec 1998

23cm.300.

Binding: Cloth   Price: L25.00   ISBN: 0907325912

Print Status: In Print

Country of Publication: England

 

Amazon UK -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/subst/home/home.html/026-9563264-2579854

has it listed as "4-6 week delivery" item at UK25.00

 

Mari de Paxford

Brisbane, Australia

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 12:47:46 -0500

From: "Jennifer Conrad" <CONRAD3 at prodigy.net>

Subject: SC - Food from the Arab World (link)

 

Here's a link some may find interesting

 

Luveday

 

http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/600.technology/640.home_economics_and_famil

y_living/641.food_and_drink/khayat/

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 12:53:38 -0500

From: "Jennifer Conrad" <CONRAD3 at prodigy.net>

Subject: SC - =?iso-8859-1?Q?U=C6_FOREVER_Dishes_=28Link=29?=

 

Another link (more Arabic dishes)

http://www.uaeforever.com/Dishes/

 

 

Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 21:54:37 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Turkish feasts and other thoughts

 

Weaver8002 at aol.com writes:

<< but  that sounds like a lot of work for a caravan, >>

 

Not particularly. Field kitchens were brought along on any major trip. More

to the point these peoples were until quite recently a migratory people and

generally carried everything they owned with them. Cooking would have been no

harder traveling to China and back than traversing Pakistan or the Kurdish

highlands.

 

<<and besides, I don't know  if that's a period way to go about your eggs!),

>>

 

Not particularly. Almost without exception period middle eastern recipes

which used eggs either broke the eggs whole across the top of the dish or

added it on top in layers. Occasionally hard boiled chopped eggs or whole

hard boiled yolks were used

 

There is a large corpus of easily understood period (better yet-medieval)

middle eastern recipes so there is little or no need to use ethnic/regional

recipes or modern recipes. Both His Grace, Duke Sir Cariadoc, myself and

others have redacted large numbers of period Middle Eastern and Andalusian

recipes so there is an extensive volume of ready recipes to choose from.

Modern middle eastern food has gone through just as many changes as our own

cuisine since the middle ages. The use of ethnic recipes may lend some bit of

the exotic to a feast but does not make a feast any more period than using

Betty Crocker or Lean Cuisine would.

 

Although it cheers me to see a renewed interest in period middle eastern

studies, I am saddened by the fact that so many, if not the majority, of

feasts make no attempt to use period middle eastern food which I have found

to be even tastier than period European food. There are a handful of SCA

cooks who consistently produce period feasts of several cuisines which are

worth 10 times the price you pay for them. I suggest anyone who has not eaten

good period food to seek out the events these people cook at and find out for

yourselves what a special treat these foods can be. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 14:17:48 -0600 (MDT)

From: Ann Sasahara <ariann at nmia.com>

Subject: SC - tagine

 

I remember a brief discussion on tagines in Claudia Roden's book of middle

eastern cooking.  It is under the recipe "mishmishya", which is her

redaction of the al-bagdadi original (Arberry translation).  I used her

redaction w/ the suggested rosewater.  The dish was quite good and

fragrant.  Even my non-SCA husband ate it and said "good stew, honey".

 

The al-bagdadi also has "rutibya", which is stuffed dates and a

coriander-spiced, ground lamb (similar to Lebanese kofta). I vaguely

remember the text saying to "heat it to dryness". I can't remember if it

was in the same section w/ mishmishya.

 

I won't be home (w/ my books) until Friday.  I will post the al-baghdadi

mishmishya recipe and Claudia Roden's redaction on Sat morning.

 

Ariann

ariann at nmia.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 18:48:45 -0600 (MDT)

From: Ann Sasahara <ariann at nmia.com>

Subject: SC - mishmishiya tagine recipe (LONG)

 

Here is the al-baghdadi recipe I promised. I recommend buying the book.

 

Ariann

_____________________________

Roden, Claudia, A Book of Middle Eastern Food, 1968, Vintage Books, NY,

453p.   ISBN: 0-394-71948-4

 

Roden p.246, reproduced for educational purposes:

 

    " M E A T   S T E W S   W I T H   F R U I T

 

I have found many Moroccan touajen (the plural form of tagine) incredibly

like al-Baghdadi's medieval stews --  mysterious culinary bond between

ancient Persia and modern Morocco.

 

Many Moroccans originate from the regions of the Yemen, Iraq, and

Saudi Arabia.  They came there at different times: first in the

pre-Christian era, then with the Arab Islamic invasion in the seventh

century, and then again in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth

centuries.  I suspect that the Arabs of the Abbassid period (the time of

al-Baghdadi) brought these dishes with them.  They were then adopted and

perpetuated through the ephemeral Almovarid dynasty, the brilliant

Moroccan period of the dynasty of the Almohads which diffused Moorish

civilization throughout a vast empire, and again during the Sharifian

dynasty of the descendants of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet, who came

from Arabia at the end of the fourteenth century.

 

The same fruits -- apples, prunes, quinces, and currantsand to a

large extent the same spices are used by Moroccans today as were used by

the ancient Persians and the Arabs of the Abbassid period. Al-Baghdadi's

recipes recommended mashing the fruits to a pulp, but Moroccans leave them

whole or sliced and add them toward the end of cooking, to prevent their

disintegrating.  Fasis (inhabitants of  Fez) stew their ingredients, as

al-Baghdadi did, without preliminary frying, as they consider that frying

would add heaviness to otherwise delicate dishes.

 

Every Moroccan family prizes its own very special touajen which

generations of their cooks have prepared for them, keeping the recipes

fiercely secret, and I realize that I have been able to include only a few

from a vast culinary treasury.

 

Modern Persian stews (khoreshtha) have developed them and changed

them a little, remaining true to their own early traditions.  I have

included these in the chapter on rice, as today they are intended as

sauces for rice.

 

Curiously, countries around the region of Baghdad, now the capital of

Iraq, where al-Baghdadi lived, have not perpetuated this particular

tradition.

__________________

Mishmishya

 

A splendid meat and apricot dish which derives its name from the Arabic

word for the fruit, mishmish.  Lamb seems to have special affinity for

apricots, and a similar dish was a great favorite in our family.

 

>From al-Baghdadi's cooking manual

"Cut fat meat small, put into the saucepan with a little salt, and cover

with water.  Boil and remove the scum.  Cut up onions, wash, and throw in

on top of the meat. Add seasonings, coriander, cumin, mastic, cinnamon,

pepper and ginger, well ground.  Take dry apricots, soak in hot water,

then wash and put in a separate saucepan, and boil lightly: take out, wipe

in the hands, and strain through a sieve.  Take sweet almonds, grind fine,

moisten with a little apricot juice and throw in.  Some color with a

trifle of saffron.  Spray the saucepan with a little rose water, wipe its

sides with a clean rag, and leave to settle over the fire: then remove."

 

S U G G E S T E D   Q U A N T I T I E S

 

2 lbs.  lean lamb, cubed

Black pepper

Salt

1-2 onions, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 lb. dried apricots, soaked and passed through a food mill

1/2-1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/3 cup ground almonds

1/4 teaspoon pulverized mastic

1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                        1

1 teaspoon rose water

 

This is one of the dishes on which the meat is not fried before stewing.

It may seem dull at first, but the apricot sauce thickened with the ground

almonds gives it a particular richness which makes frying superfluous.

 

     The stew requires about 2 hours of gentle cooking, preferably on an

asbestos mat. Leave out the mastic and saffron if you wishI do not think

they are necessary."

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 15:59:10 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - request for info

 

> I the same book by Notaker I took the references to the Danish Cookbook

> by Harperenge, I found another comments about an Arabic cookbook,

> written in Bagdad 1266. He says the manuscript is enterely translated to

> English.

>

> Ana

 

I think you are referring to the translation by Prof. A.J. Arberry, A

Baghdad Cookery Book, published in 1939.

 

This is to be reprinted in Medieval Arab Cookery by Maxime Rodinson and

Charles Perry, published by Prospect Books, London. Unfortunately, it is

not yet available.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 18:17:20 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - request for info

 

TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

<< I think you are referring to the translation by Prof. A.J. Arberry, A

Baghdad Cookery Book, published in 1939. >>

 

Charles Perry's translation IS available in Cariadoc's collection. Why wish

for the unavailable when the best is inexpensively to be had?

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 19:24:44 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Period Hummus-recipe

 

His Grace had indicated that he could not find any recipes similar to Hummus

in period sources. He also indicated that he could not find any reference to

sesame seed paste in period sources.  I must disagree with His Grace's

findings. I found the following recipe (one of 2 containing Tahini) in A

Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Vol. 2, pg. Misc-3. It is

one of the three recipes translated from Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of

Dishes): Oriental 5000 (British Library) pp.70b, 71a, 74b.

 

The finished dish looked and tasted so much like garbanzo based hummus that a

person with an untrained palette would be hard pressed to tell them apart. In

fact we made modern hummus and were able to compare them ourselves. I much

prefer the medieval version below.

 

Original (translation)-

White sals. Walnut meats, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, white mustard, Tahini and

lemon juice.

 

Redaction-

White sals

(copyright c 1999 Ras, Elysant, Puck)

 

1 cp. Walnuts

2 cloves Garlic

1/8 tsp. Black pepper, ground

1/2 tsp. True cinnamon, ground

3/4 tsp. prepared mustard (see notes below)

2 Tblsp Tahini

Lemon juice, as needed

 

In a food processor combine walnuts and garlic until they form a smooth

paste. Put walnut mixture in a bowl. Add pepper. cinnamon, mustard and

Tahini. Mix thoroughly adding lemon juice by the teaspoonful until a smooth

very thick mixture is achieved.

 

NOTE: There is a description of mustard as prepared in the medieval middle

east in another section of Caraidoc's Collection. We used a modern mustard

that most fit this description. Any country-style mustard would work.

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 23:38:53 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period Hummus-recipe and a added question

 

LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> troy at asan.com writes:

> << Yup. There's _some_ evidence to suggest, but perhaps not conclusively,

>  that the tahini referred to in medieval Islamic texts is not the same

>  stuff. >>

>

> Source please?

 

In the Charles Perry translation of the 15th century Kitab Al-Tibakhah

(See PPC #21), there is a general set of instructions for hulwa, with

specifics for the various types. It included the following somewhat

ambiguous line (bearing in mind that to me, black and white are

ambiguous): [General instructions for a candy not unlike nougat, kinda

like Swiss meringue on steroids, snipped] If you want almond candy [name

snipped] put in toasted almonds, etc., etc., simsimiyyah, toasted

sesame; tahiniyyah, flour (tah’n).

 

> <<In some cases (in particular the halwah recipes from period) it

>  appears to be less oily, and less of a smooth paste, at least from

>  recipe context.>>

>

> Ok. I can see that. Tahini does separate though. And the oil can be poured

> off. :-) I am still interested in seeing where this theory that period tahini

> was 'different' comes from though. The recipe for White sals. Did not seem to

> suffer in using an oil based product. In fact the opposite was true. The

> again Halwah and sals are as different as bread and butter. :-)

 

It _seems_ as if Perry is translating "tah’n" as "flour". Whether this

is a reference to some kind of sesame flour, based on text ordering,

which the context seems to make at least possible, or to something like

barley flour, is not clear. I note that in addition to Perry's implicit

claim that "tah’n" = "flour", your AOL online dictionary says the first

use of "tahini" (or is that only in English usage?) is in 1950.

 

I guess what this boils down to is, what word do you think is being used

in the original Arabic recipe for white sals (which I assume is the name

supplied by the English translator), that is being translated as tahini?

If it's tahini, and we believe Perry, it could mean flour, and/or could

be at odds with the dictionary entry you quoted. If, on the other hand,

it's a sesame paste product that we'd now call tahini, what did they

call it then?

 

As I said, this is far from conclusive evidence that what is intended is

_not_ tahini in the modern usage, but the questions are there. Yes, the

dish could work very well using tahini, but the fact that it works well

with modern tahini doesn't preclude its working well with some other

ingredient, if that's what's intended. There may be a slight assumption

being made here (and one I'm generally in agreement with) that if it

tastes good to us it probably tasted good to them. The key word is

"probably", I'd say.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 00:10:40 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period Hummus-recipe and a added question

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<< n the original Arabic recipe for white sals (which I assume is the name

supplied by the English translator), that is being translated as tahini?

If it's tahini, and we believe Perry, it could mean flour, and/or could

be at odds with the dictionary entry you quoted. If, on the other hand,

it's a sesame paste product that we'd now call tahini, what did they

call it then? >>

 

The AOL dictionary is in fact the current Mirriam-Webster dictionary to get

that particular bit out of the way. :-)

 

Anyway the word translated as tahinae by the translator is derived, I assume,

from the Arabic dialect tahina, from tahana to grind. The question then

becomes what is the difference between the Arabic ending -ina and -ana. I am

not an expert in Arabic. I can't even read Arabic unless you count the

meaning of my SCA name. :-)

 

However, the translator seemed to think that the word meant tahini as that is

what they translated it as. I am aware that my redaction is only valid so far

as the translator is accurate.

 

In my home test of the recipe, which is the version posted, I actually ground

sesame seeds and did not use the store bought version of tahini. Yes, the

texture was slightly different (e.g., not as smooth as commercial tahini).

And it needed slightly more lemon juice to get a good texture. However, do

you have any reason to believe that this redaction was not as close as

possible to the translation I had to work with. If I have used an ingredient

not intended, I would be most willing to redo the correct version. But again

the question of the translator's use of the word tahinae suggests that the

sesame product is meant.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 23:46:39 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Apicius / Kitab al-Tabikh

 

At 10:45 PM +0200 7/28/99, Thomas Gloning wrote:

>You mentioned a Kitab al-Tabikh in a Manuscript 'Oriental 5000' of the

>British library.

>

>Is it edited and/or translated somewhere?

>

>Besides the Kitab al-Tabikh that Arberry used for his translation in

>'Islamic Culture' 1939, he mentions another one in the Bodleian Library

>in Oxford (Hunt 187): Kitab al-Tabikh by Abu Muhammad al-Muzaffar b.

>Nasr ibn Saiyar al Warraq. Arberry says: "I hope to show in a

>forthcoming paper that this work which is of the greatest interest, was

>written some time during the 4/10th century, by a writer who had access

>to the actual recipe-book of the Abbasid Caliphs" (p. 30 note 5).

>

>Where, if ever, did this paper appear?

 

I don't know about the paper, but the Arabic text of the cookbook was

published by Studia Orientalia in Helsinki some years back.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 19:36:33 -0800

From: Lilinah biti-Anat <lilinah at grin.net>

Subject: SC - In a Caliph's Kitchen

 

I *finally* got a copy of Waines' "In a Caliph's Kitchen" through ILL

(bless my neighborhood library). I'm in the SF Bay Area. A copy of

the book was apparently difficult to locate. The librarian said he

could only locate about 6 copies, and many were unavailable. This one

came from the University of Minnesota (!!!). I get to have it until

Dec 11.

 

I've merely glanced through it. To my inexperienced eye, it looks very good.

 

The book begins with several chapters of background on Medieval

Middle Eastern cookbooks, food, history, etc. And there are some

footnotes and a bibliography. Then, for each recipe, there is:

1) a modern redaction

2) a paragraph or more of commentary about the source, the original

recipe and its history.

3) a color photo of the modern dish (drool)

4) a translation of the recipe

The author takes some liberties with his redactions, as other

redactors of Medieval recipes do, and often comments on them, as

other redactors of Medieval recipes do.

 

But i noticed that some folks (in webbed commentaries) said this was

not a very good book. Will those who are knowledgeable please comment

on this book. Is it good or is it not useful? What are its bad

points? its good points? Are there *lots* of errors in the recipe

translations? Other issues?

 

I'm less interested in discussing the author's redactions, since i

prefer to do my own redactions, although I like seeing someone else's

to compare with mine.

 

I really want to own a copy, but have had no luck through abebooks,

bookfinder, bibliofind, etc. for 4 months or more. I will photocopy

this one, but i'm frustrated that color photo copies are too

expensive to copy all those yummy food pictures :-(  I may end up

scanning them. I'd still rather have a real bound book. I'll keep

searching...

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 23:00:54 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - In a Caliph's Kitchen

 

lilinah at grin.net writes:

<< But I noticed that some folks (in webbed commentaries) said this was

not a very good book. Will those who are knowledgeable please comment

on this book? Is it good or is it not useful? What are its bad

points? its good points? Are there *lots* of errors in the recipe

translations? Other issues?

 

I'm less interested in discussing the author's redactions, since i

prefer to do my own redactions, although i like seeing someone else's

to compare with mine. >>

 

I think the books bad features are the redactions. He, as some other cooks

do, take liberties where none are justified and are definitely unnecessary.

Since redacting period middle eastern is a passion of mine and I have been

told I am good at it by those who actually have eaten them prepared, I found

that particular bugaboo problem enough to not purchase the book. With more

than enough books containing poor redactions, I felt that I couldn't justify

adding another one to my collection. After looking at the redactions, I did

not peruse the volume any further so others will have to comment on the rest

of the work.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 23:00:47 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - New World Foods-rant (was: turkey)

 

At 11:09 PM +0100 2/15/00, Thomas Gloning wrote:

>BTW, do we know anything about post 13th-century arabic sources?

 

Ibn al Mubarrad wrote a short 15th c. cookbook; Charles Perry's

translation was published in PPC (and is in my collection). That's

the only one I know of, but there are probably more.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 08:57:09 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - New World Foods-rant (was: turkey)

 

David/Cariadoc wrote:

>Ibn al Mubarrad wrote a short 15th c. cookbook; Charles Perry's

>translation was published in PPC (and is in my collection). That's

>the only one I know of, but there are probably more.

 

Charles Perry mentions several in The Fate of the Tail, among them Kitāb

Wasf (14th c, actually al-Baghdadi with a few dozen additional recipes), and

two Iranian 16th and 17th century collections.

 

He also says the most popular cookbook of the Arab Middle ages, judging from

the number of surviving manuscripts, seems to have been the Syrian 13th c.

Kitāb al-Wusla (I'm a bit confused here - has this book been translated?),

and says virtually every MS of it has a section of recipes that have been

added at a later time.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 20:51:57 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Another Arabic Cookbook

 

At 9:14 PM -0500 3/9/00, Aldyth at aol.com wrote:

>While at a research gathering last night, one of the ladies had me look at

>her newest cookbook.  It is Arabic Recipes and History for the Medieval

>Feast.  Written by J. Corbin.  It gives a web page of :

>

>http://celticcat.com/jcorbin/arabicrecipes/index.html

>

>It shows the cover, the recipe titles, and to order send $25 to....

>

>Does anyone have this one?

>It has pumpkins, tomatoes and bell peppers....

>

>Aldyth

 

Actually, it is at:

http://www.celticcat.com/JCorbin/ArabicRecipes/index.html

 

Apparently the server is case sensitive, because the lower case

version of the URL didn't work, at least for me.

 

Judging by the recipes listed, it is a collection of modern recipes

from the Islamic world, not of period recipes. I note, for example,

two recipes for "harisa," in both cases a pepper sauce--the modern

North African dish. There are no recipes for the medieval harisa,

which was a very common and entirely different dish.

 

I didn't notice any recipes that I recognized as period Islamic--and

there are lots that use New World ingredients. So far as I know,

there are no surviving Islamic cookbooks from between 1492 and 1600.

 

I have no idea how good the historical information is. So far as I

can tell, the author doesn't list an email address, so can't ask her

about it--(snailmail? what's snailmail?)

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 08:12:13 -0600

From: "maddie teller-kook" <meadhbh at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #2046

 

From: Guenevere Nelson-Melby <Guenevere_Nelson-Melby at needham.k12.ma.us>

> Has anyone read A  Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the

> Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to

> the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes

>                            by Clifford A. Wright ?

 

>  Perhaps it has been discussed previously. I am new to the list and have

> no sense of history here. But his thesis is that we have underestimated

> Arab influence on European culture and cuisine and it's quite exhaustively

> documented? I know that it isn't technically all medieval, but it is

> rooted in history. Any other fans, readers?

 

> Guenevere

 

My biggest disappointment with this book is the recipes. No originals (well,

very few). Most recipes look more ethnic than medieval.

 

meadhbh

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 11:29:38 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: SC - Megadarra

 

I just got finished typing this in for a friend, so I thought I would

send it along to the list for your benefit as well.  Can someone with

access to al-Baghdadi put their hands on the original, and perhaps type

it in as well?

Thanks,

        Christianna

 

From :

"A Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden Vintage Books, c. 1972

 

        "Megadarra

 

        Here is a modern version of a medieval dish called 'mujadarra',

described by al -Baghdadi as a dish of the poor, and still known today as

Esau's favorite.  In fact, it is such a great favorite that although said

to be for misers, it is a compliment to serve it.  

        An aunt of mine used to present it regularly to guests with the comment:

"Excuse the food of the poor!" - to which the unanimous repy always was:

"Keep your food of kings and give us megadarra every day!".

        The proportions for this lentil and rice dish vary with every family.

Here is my family's recipe for a rather large quantity. Whereas I have

used twice the weight of rice to lentils, many other people use equal

amounts.  Today, meat is not included as it was in the medieval recipe.  

 

2 cups large brown lentils, soaked if required

1 onion, finely chopped

Oil

 

Salt and Black Pepper

1 cup long grain rice, washed

2 onions, sliced into half-moon shapes

 

Boil lentils in a fresh portion of water to cover for 3/4 to 1 1/2 hours,

or until tender.  Fry the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons oil until soft

and golden.  Add it to the lentils and season to taste with salt and

pepper.  Mix well and add rice, together with enough water to make the

liquid in the pan up to 2 cups.  Season again and simmer gently, covered,

for about 20 minutes until the rice becomes soft and well cooked, adding

a little more water if it becomes absorbed too quickly.

        Fry the sliced onions in 2 tablespoons very hot oil until they are dark

brown and sweet, almost carmelized.  

        Serve the rice and lentils on a large shallow dish, garnished with the

fried onion slices.  

        This dish is delicious served either hot or cold, and accompanied by

yogurt. "

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 13:09:14 -0600 (MDT)

From: grasse at mscd.edu (Martina Grasse)

Subject: SC - re: digest 2144 - Megadarra

 

Christianna wrote

"Megadarra

 

        Here is a modern version of a medieval dish called 'mujadarra'"

 

I love that stuff... I often bring it to potlucks because it is vegitarian

(even vegan) safe, sticks to the ribs, and tastes great. I do not add the

pepper, and I  actually brown all my onions to the really really caramelized

stage, it adds nice color and depth of flavor to the dish, then serve with

additional caramelized onions, salt and yogurt for people to add to their

serving.  

Just for the record, I use equal parts lentils and rice, use olive oil to

brown my onions, and cook it in my Japanese electric rice steamer (have

steamer, will travel!) it works great.

 

I would love to see more in the way of documentation for it.

 

Gwen Catrin von Berlin

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 18:57:50 EDT

From: Varju at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Megadarra

 

I was first introduced to this dish when I was an exchange student in

Hungary.  One of the other exchange students was half Lebanese and made her

family's version of  megadarra for us all the time.  That version was similar

to the recipe Christianna posted except Neda would fry the onion slices in

olive oil and the pour both the onions and the oil over the top of the dish

before serving. . .

 

Noemi

 

 

Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 22:13:03 EDT

From: RButler96 at aol.com

Subject: SC - Period cookery recipes

 

Since I have had so many inquiries, I felt it necessary to share this on the

list.

 

A Baghdad Cookery Book

al-Baghdadi  1229

Translated in "Islamic Culture" (a journal)

the January 1939 edition

 

Be patient when requesting it.  One of the Ivy League schools has a hard

copy, and U of F has a microfiche copy that I have a print out of the

complete thing.  It's about 40 or 50 pages, and details many recipes, and

some great stories of the time.  It's basically one man's favorite dishes.  

There are a couple that resemble dolma.

 

My Lord husband and I recently presented a feast taken from this publication,

and it went over absolutely beautifully.

 

    Khadijah bint Mika'il al-Zarqa'

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 00:53:35 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period cookery recipes

 

RButler96 at aol.com writes:

<< A Baghdad Cookery Book

al-Baghdadi  1229

Translated in "Islamic Culture" (a journal)

the January 1939 edition >>

 

I have also used this manuscript for several feasts and I agree the food is

great. My ongoing project is to redact every recipe contained in the  book

but so far I only have 67 finished. :-)

 

A translation appears in His Grace Cariadoc's Collection of Medieval and

Renaissance Cookbooks, Vol.I. The 2 volume collection contains translations

of many of the cookbooks we mention on this list. And both volumes together

cost less than a single volume of most any book. I would highly recommend

that the serious student of medieval cookery purchase this collection.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 17:49:04 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Redacted recipes

 

At 9:26 PM -0400 5/9/00, RButler96 at aol.com wrote:

>grizly at mindspring.com writes:

>  > Recipes are not falling from trees for us in regards East of Venice.

>

>     I would suggest that you look up the Islamic Cookery Book I listed.

>

>     This lists mainly items served in Baghdad.  They do have to be redacted.

>However, there is another book "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia

>Roden.  This one is not completely period, but contains some recipes from the

>above period reference that are redacted for convenience.

 

Claudia Roden is a fine source; it was through her that I first

discovered al-Baghdadi about thirty years ago. But almost none of her

recipes are period.

 

You have to be careful to distinguish between the statement that a

dish exists in a medieval source and the statement that this is the

recipe for it. Take a look, for example, at Rishta. She correctly

says that Rista is in al-Baghdadi. But if you compare her recipe with

his, you can see that they have very little to do with each other.

She is giving a modern recipe for a modern version of a dish that

existed, in a different version, in the thirteenth c.

 

David Friedman

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 23:48:12 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: recipe-Re: Fw: SC - hummus-LONG

 

rkappler at home.com writes:

<< Hmmm.... Are you sure about this Ras?  >>

 

Yes.

 

<< IIRC the resource you had with you on the sailing trip was Curye on

Inglysche, not Cariadoc's wonderful volumes, >>

 

I had brought all my period cookery books with me. You are correct in that

the White Sals recipe used at Ladies was The garlic and yogurt one. It is in

fact, the white sals recipe found in the Book of the Beloved in Cariadoc's

Collection. HOWEVER, the White Sals recipe that was redacted and made on the

boat was the White Sals recipe from A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance

Cookbooks, Vol. 2, pg. Misc-3. It is one of the three recipes translated from

Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of Dishes): Oriental 5000 (British Library) pp.70b, 71a, 74b.

 

The finished dish looked and tasted so much like garbanzo based hummus that a

person with an untrained palette would be hard pressed to tell them apart. In

fact we made modern hummus and were able to compare them ourselves. I much

prefer the medieval version below.

 

Original (translation)-

White sals. Walnut meats, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, white mustard, Tahini and

lemon juice.

 

Redaction-

White sals

(copyright c 1999 Ras, Elysant, Puck)

 

1 cp. Walnuts

2 cloves Garlic

1/8 tsp. Black pepper, ground

1/2 tsp. True cinnamon, ground

3/4 tsp. prepared mustard (see notes below)

2 Tblsp Tahini

Lemon juice, as needed

 

In a food processor combine walnuts and garlic until they form a smooth

paste. Put walnut mixture in a bowl. Add pepper. cinnamon, mustard and

Tahini. Mix thoroughly adding lemon juice by the teaspoonful until a smooth

very thick mixture is achieved.

 

NOTE: There is a description of mustard as prepared in the medieval middle

east in another section of Caraidoc's Collection. We used a modern mustard

that most fit this description. Any country-style mustard would work.

 

<<Sals is the dish we did for  the first course at the Ladies Champions feast

in Confed and consists of  yoghurt and seasonings, >>

 

Correct. See above. There are at least 2 recipes with the title of White Sals

in at least 2 different manuscripts. The White Sals done on the boat did not

contain chickpeas and very closely resembles modern hummus when prepared.

 

<<Why substitute peanut butter for chickpeas or tahini when both are so

readily available?  Again, my memory is a little fuzzy, but perhaps it was

because we were out and about on the Narragannsett and had neither of those

with us, but plenty of peanut butter? >>

 

Correct. It was during the time we were stranded in the water after we our

little adventure with the non-running engine and becalmed seas. There were no

chickpeas in the recipe but Tahini was mentioned.

 

<< I cannot otherwise imagine why a man as renowned for meticulous adherence

to period practices and ingredients would use a new world food in a period

recipe.>>

 

IIRC, the addition of peanut butter was done because of a lack of tahini at

the time. The recipe was subsequently prepared correctly without the

offending ingredient according to our actual redaction after the boat trip

and was fine. It was prepared by Margali at Pennsic before last. Again it

turned out fine.

 

<<hummus is  actually a cheese like spread and not a paste of roasted sesame

seeds and/or chickpeas as I thought. >>

 

Modern hummus is as you describe. White Sals, OTOH, can be a garlic flavored

yogurt cheese or a walnut paste/sesame seed dish that resembles modern hummus

in flavor and texture.

 

<< Would it be possible for me to get a copy of this from you, or would that

be in violation of copyright protections?>>

 

His Grace kindly provides that up to 500 copies can be made for educational

purposes. I think it is in the back of Vol II though. If not the back of II

then I. It is in there. Again the Walnut paste sals is NOT in The Book of the

Beloved. It is from the Kitab al-Tabikh. The Yogurt based sals is from the

Book of the Beloved.

<<regards, Puck >>

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 22:56:05 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: SC dried squid

 

At 8:17 PM -0700 9/19/00, lilinah at EARTHLINK.NET wrote:

>The Near East is not just one big expanse of well-stocked

>sophisticated urban environment. There are plenty of harsh dry

>environments, too, with limited availability of foodstuffs. I

>realize i have no documentation, I can only argue that it is

>possible.

 

I've just been reading two books (_God's Banquet_, which is about

food in classical Arabic literature, and a book on life under the

Abbasids, with a chapter on food) that have lots of period references

to food. One thing that is pretty clear is that the bedouin were

regarded as eating primitive and gross things--one of the more common

insults is that they ate lizards. I don't remember any references to

dried meat, however.

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 22:44:49 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - HELP requested

 

A book entitled 'Al-Wuslah Ilal-Habeeb fi Wasfil-Tayyibat wal-Teeb,

attributed to Ibn al Adeem. Edited by Durrieh al Khatib and Sulaima Mahjoub.

Published by the Institute for the History of Arabic Science, University of

Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria. Volume one was published in 1987 and volume two in

1988. In Arabic.

 

Volume one is a treatise on the History of Foods of the Arabs by Sulaima

Mahjoub, and volume two is the complete text of the edited book with

extensive indices by Durrieh al Khatib. The book lists approximately 550

recipes for foods and drinks.

_________

 

The question is, does anyone know if these works have been translated into

English or if these works are being considered for translation? Since English

has replaced Latin as the language of Academia, I find it hard to believe

that such important works would be only available in Arabic.

 

Ras

 

 

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 22:12:58 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pt. 2 - Medieval Persian Iron Chef

 

Here are the recipes three dishes that were served on one tray:

 

Bustaniyya - Orchard Dish - spiced chicken and lamb with pears,

peaches, and almonds

Saffron Rice

Rutab Mu'assal - Honeyed Dates, stuffed with almonds

 

Anahita

 

---------------------

 

Bustaniya - Orchard Dish

Spiced Chicken and Lamb with Pears, Peaches, and Almonds

 

Fruit and meat cooked together is typically Near Eastern. "Bustan"

means "orchard" and this dish contains pears, peaches, and almonds

from the orchard.

 

Original:

Take small sour pears, wash and wrap in a moist cloth if they are

dried pears, but if they are fresh, then macerate them in water and

strain through a sieve. Then take chicken breasts, and cut them

lengthwise in finger-sized strips and add to it as much meat [lamb]

as you wish. Next throw in peaches and boil. Season the pot with

pepper and ma'kamakh, oil, some spices, some sugar, wine vinegar,

some almonds ground up fine; add to the pot. Then break eggs over and

allow to settle.

(by Abu Samin, "Father of Corpulence", in al-Wattaq, p. 119, in Waines)

 

I was not sure what was going on with the pears. Were the dried pears

being soaked and drained? soaked and sieved? Was only the liquid

used? Or was a puree used? It wasn't clear to me, so I used firm,

tangy Winter pears which cooked down.

 

25 Bosc pears

50 dried sulfured peach halves

10 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs

10 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

10 pounds of cubed lamb (cut as for stew or kabobs)

water, as needed

1 ounce Ceylon cinnamon sticks

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 ounce powdered ginger

2 Tablespoons ground coriander seed

2 Tablespoons white pepper

1/4 cup salt, to taste

water, as needed

1 cup granulated white sugar

2 cups red wine vinegar

2 cups ground blanched almonds

20 eggs, beaten

 

1. Cut of stem and blossom ends from pears, halve, core, then cut so

each pear is in eight pieces.

2. Cut peach halves in half.

3. Cut chicken into finger-like or fajita-like strips.

4. Check lamb and trim off excess fat and remove any bones.

5. In wide deep pot place fruit, meats, spices, and salt. Add water,

a couple cups to each pot - more liquid will develop out of both the

meat and the fruit as the dish cooks.

6. Put on high heat, bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium or

medium-low, so liquid develops out of meat and fruit, and contents

simmer until done, about 1 hour.

7. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary - I added more salt.

8. Add sugar and vinegar, tasting and adjusting as necessary - should

have a pleasant slightly sweet-and-sour flavor.

9. Stir in almonds - sauce should thicken.

10. Stir in eggs - sauce should thicken further. I did not pour eggs

on top as original recipe suggests, since i was cooking all the meat

in two 3 gallon pots and there would be no way to distribute the eggs

evenly over the meat in the serving dishes.

11. Dish meat into serving dishes - surround with rice, and garnish.

 

---------------------

 

Arruz al-Zafran - Saffron Rice

<snip - see rice-msg>

---------------------

 

Rutab Mu'assal - Honeyed Dates stuffed with almonds, scented with rosewater

<snip - see dates-msg>

---------------------

 

These were served thus:

On ten round flat serving trays, a ring of rice was made around the

outside. The meat was mounded in the middle. And 10 dates were placed

evenly around the outer edge of the rice, the spaces between them

filled with garbanzo beans.

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 12:31:21 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Hummus period source wanted

 

Greetings, Violante:

 

You wrote:

>Does anyone know of or have a medieval or ancient recipe for hummus?

 

Hummos means chick peas, and chick peas are used in many surviving

Medieval Near Eastern recipes. However, i suspect you mean

hummos-bi-tahini, the puree of chick peas and tahini used in the

Levant as a sauce for falafel. I know of no Medieval or even

Renaissance period recipes for it.

 

The closest are a few recipes for salsa, the Arabic plural of sals, a

word most likely borrowed by Medieval Arabic speakers from a European

language, probably French. While the name is European in origin, the

recipes are quite Middle Eastern.

 

The surviving Middle Eastern recipe closest to modern

hummos-bi-tahini is Sals Abyad (White Sauce) which is a spiced

mixture of ground walnuts and tahini. While the original is

identified as a sauce, it doesn't say what it would be served with.

 

I hope this is of some help. If someone discovers another recipe that

is closer to hummos-bi-tahini, i'd love to see it, as it is a

favorite of mine, too.

 

Anahita

 

 

SALS ABYAD - White Sauce

Spiced Walnut-Sesame Sauce/Spread

 

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

from the 1373 CE "al-Kitab Wasf al-At'ima al-Mu'tada"

("The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods"),

translated by Charles Perry, in "Medieval Arab Cookery", p. 389

 

Walnuts, garlic, pepper, Chinese cinnamon, white mustard, tahineh and

lemon juice.

 

[that's the whole recipe]

 

MY RECIPE:

this has been adjusted downward from the one i made for 100 people.

This should make 2 to 3 cups.

 

1/2 pound shelled walnuts

2 cups sesame tahini from a Middle Eastern brand -

           health food sesame paste doesn't  work as well

1/2 to 1 ounce prepared garlic paste

           with NO additives or preservatives

           (or puree 1/2 to 1 ounce fresh garlic)

3/4 tsp ground black or white pepper

1-1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon

1/4 ounce yellow mustard powder (or you could experiment with Dijon mustard)

juice from 1 to 2 lemons

1-1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

 

1. Grind walnuts finely, in nut grinder, blender, or food processor -

or pound in a mortar with a pestle. Do not grind to a paste, but

leave some texture.

2. Stir walnuts with one cup tahini.

3. Mix pureed garlic, pepper, cinnamon, mustard powder, and salt into

the other cup of tahini.

4. Blend seasoned tahini into walnut-tahini blend.

5. Let stand overnight for flavors to develop.

6. Shortly before serving stir in fresh lemon juice and add water to

achieve desired consistency.

7. Adjust seasonings to taste.

 

Serve with Near Eastern flat breads - I served Lavosh and a Persian

flat bread whose name I have forgotten. It would probably be good as

a vegetable dip in a modern setting.

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 10:07:03 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [SCA-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Anahita wrote:

> What individual ingredients do you think of when someone sas "Middle

> Eastern"? What dishes?

>

> What else would people want to know about historical Middle Eastern  

> food?

 

I think an important thing to know is that Middle Eastern Cuisine AS WE KNOW IT

is largely a product of the Ottoman Empire's assimilation of other cultures up

through the 19th Century.  There aresimilar flavors in period sources, but

don't bother looking up "baklava" or "hummus" in Al-Baghdadi's 13th Century

cookery book because they are not there.

 

You know already about Cariadoc's Miscellany for good period recipes  

and useful redactions.

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/miscellany.html>; Particular goodies

therein that I would choose include Rishta [period pasta, yay!],  Isfanakh

Mutajjan [cooked spinach with yummy spices -- vegan!], Hais [date balls,

theoretically caravan food for keeping a long time but it never lasts  

that long around here] and the drink syrups.

 

Dame Selene Colfox

OP, OLC, OHA, ODC, SR etc.

Sable Fret Pursuivant

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 17:16:30 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [SCA-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

You might want to investigate or get into

the Library of Congress www.loc.gov

and search under--

Cookery, Mediterranean

Cookery, Middle Eastern

Middle East-- Social Life and Customs

Diet--Arab countries--History--o 1500.

  Cookery--Arab countries--History--To 1500.

  Cookery, Arab.

 

or you can keyword Middle East with food

as terms and see what you come up with.

 

There is a bibliography---

Vassilian, Hamo B.,

Ethnic cookbooks and food marketplace : a complete

biblographic guide & directory to Armenian, Iranian, Afghan,

Israeli, Middle Eastern, North African, and Greek foods in the U.S.A. &  

Canada.

1992.

 

Titles that I own that you don't [mention] include:

Culinary Cultures of the Middle East edited

by Zubaida and Tapper.1994. This was released

as: Taste of thyme : culinary cultures of the Middle East

/ edited by Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper ;

     foreword by Claudia Roden. in 2000.

This is the only title that LC places under the sub. headings

Cookery, Middle Eastern istory.

 

Gelder, G. J. H. van

God's Banquet. Food in Classical Arab Literature.

2000.

 

Plus there are numerous volumes by Clifford Wright and

Claudia Roden.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

I now own Andrew Dalby's "Danerous Tastes" ($7) and Alan Davidson's

"Oxford Companion to Food" ($15 pprbk, called the Penguin Companion

to Food). Cheez, Davidson is so funny - it's a joy to read. Of course

i have the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook and "Medieval Arab Cookery"

 

> Still n the lookout for more books on the history of food in the

> Near and Middle East and - for personal info, not necessarily the

> class, Central and South Asia. So if anyone know of more good books

> on *historical* food ways...

> Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 23:35:28 +0200

From: "Ana . Vald?s" <agora at algonet.se>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

This is a quite interestinglink to comments about how the Crusades

changed the food landscape in the Middle East.

> http://jeru.huji.ac.il/ef41.htm

 

Ana

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 18:33:05 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> This is a quite interesting link to comments about how the Crusades

> changed the food landscape in the Middle East.

> http://jeru.huji.ac.il/ef41.htm

 

Actually this site is *highly* flawed. I wouldn't trust much if

anything it says about history, food history, costume history, etc...

 

I did copy some of the recipes, though, as they looked tasty, but

very far from "period".

 

Does anyone have any trustworthy info on the influence of Near

Eastern food ways on Europe via the Crusaders?

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 10:30:43 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Home From Great Western War

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Stefan asked in several separate messages:

>Anahita commented:

>  >-- A Dish of Chicken or Partridge with Quinces or Apples - includes

>>chopped fennel bulb and is topped with a tharid (13th c. Anonymous

>  >Andalusian Cookbook)

>

>What is "tharid"?

 

It's moderately common in Near Eastern cooking, showing up in recipes

both from the Levant and from al-Andalus. It's a mixture of bread

crumbs (i've always used fresh), eggs, sometimes a little flour,

occasionally other things for flavor. It's spread over the top of all

the ingredients in the pot after they're cooked. After spreading in

the tharid, i've always covered the pot with a lid and cooked it

until the tharid is cooked through - just takes a few minutes.

 

It comes out like a giant dumpling topping (or a really good,

spread-out matzoh ball). The top of the tharid is usually sprayed

with rosewater and sprinkled with spices before serving. Muhammed

apparently said a tharid was his favorite dish (that is, the "stew"

with the topping) and likened his older wife, A'isha, to a tharid in

quality.

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 22:35:07 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] tharid?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Anahita commented:

> >>>

> -- A Dish of Chicken or Partridge with Quinces or Apples - includes

> chopped fennel bulb and is topped with a tharid (13th c. Anonymous

> Andalusian Cookbook)

> <<<

>

> What is "tharid"?

 

Tharid (or tharida, or tharda) is an Islamic dish with lots of

variants consisting of torn-up bread with stuff mixed in or poured

over. The stuff usually but not always includes meat--there is one

vegetarian tharid we made that reminded me of standard

bread/onion/herb turkey stuffing. Here is a very simple recipe (15th

c.):

 

"Meat is boiled and bread is moistened with the broth. Yoghurt,

garlic and mint are put with it and the meat is put with it. Likewise

there is a tharid without meat."

 

But there are ones with different kinds of meat and beans and other

vegetables and different seasonings and butter and eggs and...  Look

at the Miscellany for several worked-out recipes.

 

Elizabeth of Dendermonde/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 00:39:19 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shish Kabab ton-o-questions

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- CLdyroz at aol.com wrote:

> Now, part of the presentation is have the Head Table presented with  

> flaming Shish Kabab on fencing foils.

 

> Helen Hawksworth

> Beginning Cook

 

I think your idea of flaming shish kababs is a modern idea and not  

done pre-1600.  And if the

fencing foils aren't properly tempered they could be ruined by the  

flames and/or ruin the meat by adding harmful metals to the meat.

 

You need to buy these books:

 

Medieval Arab Cookery / essays and translations by Maxime Rodinson,  

A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry ;

with a foreward by Claudia Roden.  [Devon, England] : Prospect Books,  

2001. 527 p.  ISBN 0907325912

 

If you want to do Medieval Middle Eatern food, this is the best book  

to have.

 

and then there is:

 

The Ni`matnåųama manuscript of the sultans of Mandu : the Sultan's  

book of delights / translated

by Norah M. Titley. London ; New York : Routledge, 2004.

xx, 121 p.  ISBN 041535059X  ISBN: 41535059X (cloth)

 

Although this is from India, it is from the Moghul Era, so it is  

heavily influenced by the Persians.  There are several kabab recipes in it.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 22:07:04 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Andalusian = Middle Eastern?

To: SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Stefan wrote:

> I've heard Andalusian foods, and probably this specific site,

> suggested before for 'Middle Eastern' foods. I considered suggesting

> that myself in an an earlier message I posted to the Middle Eastern

> nibbles thread.

>

> However, what are the reasons to suggest that the foods of Andalusia

> were common or even used in the Middle East? They may both be Moslem,

> but Andalusia (I thought) was southern Spain and perhaps Morocco?

> That's a long way from the Middle East.

 

Two things here.

 

First, you are correct. Andalusia is NOT in the Middle East. Egypt

isn't in the Middle East either, being in North Africa. Istanbul is

not in the Middle East (it's in Europe).

 

   The Middle East is Southwest Asia (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel,

Palestine, the countries of the Arabian peninsula, Iraq, Iran

(there's more but i'll stop here)).

 

But Andalusia, North Africa, and Southwest Asia are in a cultural

area better described as the Near East. This is because of shared

language, religion, and culture (clearly with regional differences).

 

Second, a comparison of surviving SCA-period Arab language cookbooks

shows that while there are regional differences (remember my

comparison of the seasonings in the Andalusian and al-Baghdadi

cookbooks), there are also a number of similarities. Cookbooks were

valued in Muslim cultures in SCA period. They were copied and traded

over great distances. The oldest known surviving copy of "The Book of

the Description of Familiar Foods" was written in Egypt, and another

was copied in Ottoman Turkey. Yet it contains nearly all recipes from

the surviving copies of al-Baghdadi's cookbook, plus many more

recipes. This shows that this cookbook not only was used in the

Middle East and in North Africa - where most people speak Arabic -

but was also used where the Turkish language was spoken.

 

The 13th c. Andalusian cookbook was not written by one author. Rather

it is composed of recipes and tidbits copied from a number of

different cookbooks. Chances are excellent at least some were

imported from the Eastern centers of Arabic culture.

 

> Who were the "Ilkhans" and what connections to the mongol rulers of

> China are you talking about?

 

The rulers of the Persian Empire who were the descendents of the

Mongols. (i think that answers both questions)

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 13:49:28 -0700

From: "K C Francis" <katiracook at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Middle-Eastern 'Nibbles'?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

His version is quite dry but very tasty.  Mine is more soft and I have been

told "you got it right".  Dry is great if you want to store them.  I want to

enjoy them now.  Simply use fresh bread crumbs and the moist dates from the

local grocery store and I think butter is far better than the sesame oil

having tried both. I roll the cabobs (size/shape of a date) in superfine

sugar.  This recipe was my first attempt in a cooking competition.  It was

for snack foods and was judged along with the brewing competition.  I took

the Silver Spoon.  This would make a great addition to a 'nibbles' tray,

garnished with whole almonds and pistachios.

 

Katira al-Maghrebiyya

 

> From Duke Cariadoc's Miscellany:

> Hais

> al-Baghdadi p. 214/14 (GOOD)

> Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of this,

> and three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with the stones

> removed, together with three uqiya of ground almonds and pistachios. Knead

> all together very well with the hands. Refine two uqiya of sesame- oil, and

> pour over, working with the hand until it is mixed in. Make into cabobs,

> and dust with fine-ground sugar. If desired, instead of sesame-oil use

> butter. This is excellent for travellers.

> 2 2/3 c bread crumbs

> 2 c (about one lb) pitted dates

> 1/3 c ground almonds

> 1/3 c ground pistachios

> 7 T melted butter or sesame oil

> enough sugar

> We usually mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts in a food processor or

> blender. For "cabobs," roll into one inch balls. Good as caravan food (or

> for taking to wars). They last forever if you do not eat them, but  

> you do so they don't.

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 09:36:08 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Muslim Heritage

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Came across this site this morning--

http://www.muslimheritage.com/Default.aspx

 

Where there are reviews like this one--

12th Century Cookery from all the World By Kamaluddin Ibn Al-Adeem

(Edited by Ms Slama Mahjoob & Ms Duriyya Al-Khateeb)

Published by IHAS, university of Aleppo 1988, Vols. I & II, p.1076.

and articles titled

The Coffee Trail: Origins of the Muslim beverage

 

Thought people might like it.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 11:25:55 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Yeast in Islam

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I seem to recall a discussion on this list about whether or not yeast

was halal or - since it causes fruit juice to become a forbidden

alcoholic beverage - haram (forbidden).

 

I've been doing research for a class on Islamic Food Laws and

Traditions - and how food was served.

 

I have found information on modern concerns about food additives -

whether or not they are halal (lawful), haram (forbidden) or mashbuh

(suspect, uncertain).

 

Yeast shows up clearly as halal. So no need to worry about using it

to make bread or raised cakes.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 19:06:18 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Another ME question

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

On 10/26/05 2:27 PM, "cldyroz at aol.com" <cldyroz at aol.com> wrote:

>  Would walnuts work in Hais?

 

Pistachios have a very delicate flavor and a tender texture (i love

pistachios that are not salted, roasted, and dyed that awful red).

Almonds (unless boiled) tend to be rather hard and crisp (much

crisper when roasted). Walnuts have a tender texture, but a somewhat

bitter flavor. Another possibility is hazelnuts (aka filberts) which

were also used in the Near and Middle East. I would recommend using a

combination of walnuts in limited quantity and hazelnuts if you can

find and afford them, rather than substituting only walnuts for the

pistachios.

 

Selene wrote:

>  Desert peoples are practical folk, if you have walnuts, use walnuts!

 

First, these are not the recipes of desert people. The idea that they

are just perpetuates the stereotypic notion that so many SCAdians

have that the Middle East is just a desert full of nomads on camels.

The Near and Middle East are much more complex geographically and

environmentally than that. And don't forget that the first cultivated

crops west of India and China began in the Middle East 10,000 years

ago - and crops are not cultivated in a desert.

 

There are major regions of the Near and Middle East with quite humid

climates - coastal areas of the Arabian peninsula, for example. Much

of the Near and Middle East is like coastal California, with a mild

Mediterranean climate. And there are high snow covered mountains in,

for example, Morocco and Lebanon (and ski resorts in Lebanon), some

of which have some snow most of the year.

 

Second, actual desert people have very limited diets. I've been

reading up on SCA-period non-urban Middle Eastern food. Actual desert

people subsisted largely on the dairy products of their flocks,

dates, and rough flat bread. Meat was only for very special

occasions, like weddings.

 

Third, walnuts don't grow in a desert. If desert people had them,

they would be a very expensive treat.

 

In fact, recipes such as that for hais are those of sophisticated

urban people. The recipes in al-Baghdadi, the Anonymous Andalusian,

and all the other SCA-period Near and Middle Eastern cookbooks i know

of (minus one) are the recipes of quite wealthy gourmets. Hais may

keep well and be useful for travellers, but it's for travellers with

a bit of scratch. Baghdad was possibly the most sophisticated city in

the world (west of China) for much of SCA period. It had a huge

population and was a trade and cultural center with a wealth of

foodstuffs and trade goods.

--  

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:28:58 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hais report

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Stefan wrote:

> Maybe. Or they might have actually preferred butter, but as someone

> pointed out, this is a desert food or at least a food meant to keep

> for awhile. Butter will go bad quicker than sesame oil will.

 

Actually, it's quite clear from reading SCA-period Arabic language

cookbooks that sesame oil is the preferred oil/fat in much cooking,

other than fat-tailed sheep tail fat for cooking meat. Olive oil was

for the poor who could not afford sesame oil. When oil is specified,

it is sesame oil - otherwise, the text may say "good oil". Sesame oil

is used in cooking meats, vegetables, and sweets.

 

It has little to do with "desert". Again, this is falling into the

trap of stereotypes about the Near and Middle East. The

desertification of much of the Near and Middle East is primarily due

to human activities - agriculture and the destruction of native

plants. This began back 2,000 BCE by the Akkadians and Assyrian

Mesopotamian cultures' vast irrigation projects and the deforestation

of the Levant by Canaanites and Phoenicians cutting down the cedars

to sell them to Egypt, among other things.

 

But while much of the area may be arid, it isn't all desert. For

example, much of Texas and much of California is arid, but this

doesn't make these areas deserts. And there are even some humid,

almost tropical regions on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Butter shows up in recipes on rare occasions. To make butter you need

a milk in which the fat particles are larger and separate from the

liquid easily, like cow's milk. But sheep and goats are the more

typical dairy animals in the region, and sheep and goat milk are more

naturally homogenized than cow milk, so it would have been harder to

make butter from their milk.

 

Also, these cookbooks come from the highest, most SOPHISTICATED

levels of URBAN societies, and do not generally represent the foods

of the huddled masses or the desert nomads. This is HAUTE CUISINE.

These are GOURMET recipes. There were even ice store houses to keep

foods cool in the summer in Baghdad for the elite.

 

Hais may be mentioned as food for travel, but travel was difficult

even for the wealthy elite, and one needed to bring much with one for

times when one is not in a city where there were many cookshops.

 

The people who wrote and used these cookbooks were quite unlike those

who wrote surviving European cookbooks. These books were often

compiled by or written for a class of gourmands and gourmets who

spent evenings dining on fine foods and composing poetry about food.

One very famous cookbook from the 9th century was written by the

half-brother of a Caliph, who became a Caliph himself for a brief

period (he was known as the Anti-Caliph).

 

These are not the recipes of simple crude pastoralists wandering the

desert. These are cookbooks of  wealthy, important, educated,

powerful, elite, urbane, urban sophisticates.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 21:56:00 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Al-Baghdadi - Perry's favorites

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

As promised earlier:  When Renata and I went to our last meeting of the

Culinary Historians of Southern California, org prez Charles Perry signed

our copies of his new translation of A BAGHDAD COOKERY-BOOK.  He mentioned a

couple of his favorites from the text, so we had him flag them in the table

of contents.  I am typing them in ascii-friendly format, without diacritical

marks [accents, etc.] and italicized foreign words between slashes /like

this/.  Footnote numbers are [bracketed] and footnotes follow each recipe

respectively.

 

-=-=-=-

 

ZIRBAJ. [1]  The way to make it is to cut up fat meat small and put it in

the pot, with enough water on it to cover it and pieces of cinnamon, peeled

chickpeas and a little salt.  When it boils, take away its scum.  Then throw

on a pound of wine vinegar, a quarter of a pound of sugar [2] and an ounce

of peeled sweet almonds, pounded fine.  Mix with rose-water and vinegar,

then throw them on the meat.  Throw on a /dirham/ (each) of ground

coriander, pepper and wieved mastic, then color it with saffron. [3]  Put a

handful of split [peeled] almonds on top of the pot. Sprinkle a little

rose-water on it, wipe its sides with a clean cloth, leave it on the fire to

grow quiet, and take itup.  If you like to put chicken in it, take a plucked

hen and wash it and joint it.  When the pot comes to the boil, throw it on

the meat to become done.

 

[1] First element unclear, from persian /zir/ 'beneath; weak;  anything

dressed under roast meat'?  Second element Middle Persian /bag/ 'stew'

 

[2] 'and if instead of sugar, some syrup, that is permitted;  from the

/Minhaj/.  (/Minhaj/ actually reads 'Instead of syrup you could put a  

pound of pounded sugar crystals, that is permitted.')

 

[3] 'If you want it to be thick, put starch with the saffron;  from the

/Minhaj/.

 

-=-=-=-

 

FAKHITIYYA [1]  The way to make it is to cut lean fat meat [2] in small

strips and stew it in tail fat as described before.  Then cover it with

water until it boils, and take its scum away.  Make finely pounded lean meat

into middle-sized meatballs and put (spices) in them, [3] then throw them in

the pot.  Put in small pieces of onions and throw in a little salt, cumin,

coriander, pepper, mastic and cinnamon, all ground fine. When it is nearly

done, take Persian yogurt and strained sumac juice, mix them together and

then throw them in the pot.  Take peeled walnuts, pound them fine and beat

them to a liquid consistency with the sumac juice.  Throw them in the pot.

Then crumble branches of dry mint into the pot and leave it to grow quiet

for awhile.  Then sprinkle a little rose-water on it, wipe its sides with a

clean cloth and take it up.

 

[1] From /fakhita/, 'the wood dove', because the purplish colour resembles

its throat patch.

 

[2]  In every other recipe in this book, a distinction was made between fat

meat, /lahn samin,/ and 'red' meat, /lahn ahmar,/ which is lean meat.  Only

in this recipe is meat described as fat and 'red' at the same time.  This

was a scribal error, or at least it was felt as such, to judge from the fact

that the manuscripts derived from the book have chosen one description or

the other.  The London manuscript of /Kitab al-Tabikh/ calls for /lahn

ahmar,/ and /Kitab Wasf al-At'ima al Mu'tada/ calls for /lahn samin/.

 

[3]  The word 'spices' has been omitted here, and as a result this passage

might be read 'put them (the meatballs) in it (the pot), then throw them in

the pot'.  The London /Kitab al-Tabikh/ repeats this absurd wording, but

/Kitab Wasf/ says to put spices in the meatballs, as described in all other

meatball recipes, and then to put them in the pot.

 

Your faithful trans-scribe,

Selene Colfox

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 19:02:15 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] In a Caliph's Kitchen

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

The professor of a class, History 498 C - Tutorial on Pleasure and

Vice in the Pre-Modern Middle East, has photocopied "In a Caliph's

Kitchen" and turned the photocopies into PDF files. The book is

divided into three files which are rather large (took a looong time

on my dial-up connection)

 

You can access them here:

http://www.csun.edu/~rthowes/498%20Readings%20Home%20Page.html

 

There's also a piece about drinking, which i haven't read yet, by the

8th century writer, al-Jahiz, excerpted from "Sobriety and Mirth: A

Selection of the Shorter Writings of al-Jahiz", by Abu Uthman Amir

Ibn Bahir al-Jahiz, Translated by Jim Colville, and some other

interesting looking stuff.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 15:38:56 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Curious Quick Request...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Islam isn't a force in the Middle East until around 650, byt which time it

held the Arabioan Peninsula.  By 700, it was a significant force in North

Africa and moving east into the rest of the Middle East. While the Jews had

dietary restrictions, did the pre-Islamic Arabs have the same?  One also

need remember that most of this was part of the Eastern Roman Empire at the

time, so a Roman recipe for pork might not be out of order.  Even after 700,

the Byzantine controlled areas would probably have pork.

 

Bear

 

============

Uh... dude, do the words Kosher or Halal mean anything to you?  Nobody in

that area would touch the stuff during the medieval period, or pretty much

since. I don't mean to be flippant but think really hard about this question.

 

Selene

 

rattkitten at bellsouth.net wrote:

<<< Ok now here is a weird one...

Does anyone have a Middle Eastern Period Pork Recipe?  Are there any?

Within the next 2 hours would be great... you can even tell me where to

simply look online (other than the Florilegium... I can't get sucked in

today...) ;)  I am simply looking to point out one to someone else...

 

Nichola >>>

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:51:33 -0500 (EST)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Curious Quick Request...

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

<<< Does anyone have a Middle Eastern Period Pork Recipe?  Are there any?  Within the next 2 hours would be great... you can even tell me where to simply look online (other than the Florilegium... I can't get sucked in today...) ;)  I am simply looking to point out one to someone else...

 

Nichola >>>

 

Christians living in Middle Eastern countries technically could eat pork, but even the presence of pigs would have been considered unclean by their Muslim neighbors/lords. Although Christians could live as dhimmi (subject peoples) and continue to worship as Christians in Islamic lands, the keeping/eating of pigs would have pushed things a little too far.

 

In countries where Muslims and Jews were driven out (Spain and Southern Italy and Sicily), pork went back on the menu and the hanging of sausages and hams in the home was a very definite way of showing the Church and the Inquisition that you were definitely not Moorish, Jewish, or a lapsed converso.

 

So, I don't think there were even Christian pork recipes in Middle Eastern lands; you wouldn't have been able to get pork at the local market and raising a pig would probably get you and your family slaughtered or your home burned down, or at the very least make it totally impossible to do business with your Muslim neighbors.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:54:53 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Curious Quick Request...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Define Middle East, I suppose.

This e-notes article on Byzantine Empire Food by Andrew Dalby

http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/byzantine-empire

mentions "/Timarion,/ a satirical poem of the twelfth century, suggests

salt pork and cabbage stew as being a typical poor man's meal, eaten

from the bowl with the fingers just as it would have been in

contemporary western Europe."

 

The place to look for the Byzantine connections would be

Dalby, Andrew. /Flavours of Byzantium/. Totnes, Devon, U.K.: Prospect

Books, 2003.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:46:02 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Curious Quick Request...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Middle East? Commonly, the areas that form the Middle East are Iran, Iraq,

Caucus, Turkey, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Libya, and

Tunisia.  The Byzantine Empire falls within the Middle East.  Between 300 CE

and 651 CE much of the Middle East was divided between Byzantium and the

Parthians.

 

According to George Rawlinson in The Story of Parthia (1893), the Parthians

ate pork.

 

Bear

 

 

<<< Define Middle East, I suppose.

This e-notes article on Byzantine Empire Food by Andrew Dalby

http://www.enotes.com/food-encyclopedia/byzantine-empire

mentions "/Timarion,/ a satirical poem of the twelfth century, suggests

salt pork and cabbage stew as being a typical poor man's meal, eaten from

the bowl with the fingers just as it would have been in contemporary

western Europe."

 

The place to look for the Byzantine connections would be

Dalby, Andrew. /Flavours of Byzantium/. Totnes, Devon, U.K.: Prospect

Books, 2003.

 

Johnnae >>>

 

<the end>



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