Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's by Nawal Nasrallah

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By Nawal Nasrallah

This English translation of al-Warraqs tenth-century cookbook deals a different glimpse into the culinary tradition of medieval Islam. thousands of recipes, anecdotes, and poems, with an in depth advent, a thesaurus, an Appendi and colour representation. Informative and enjoyable to students and normal readers.

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Additional info for Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook

Sample text

The name Baÿ9d§d was said to be of non-Arabic origin and stories differ on its meaning. ’82 Rapidly the city grew economically, culturally, and intellectually. ’ The only snag, though, one needed to have money in one’s pockets to enjoy its promised luxuries. The rapid growth of Baghdad during the Abbasid dynasty created prosperous leisurely classes that demanded the best wealth could offer, which naturally included gourmet cuisine. Indulging in luxuriously prepared foods, cooking, reading and writing about food in prose and poetry, and even arranging for cooking contests—as Caliph al-Maamån used to do83—were commendable pastimes that the ruling dynasties and the affluent enjoyed, sometimes to fault.

Maxime Rodinson, in his pioneering articles on the subject, says that the earliest mention of such dishes occurred in a Latin cookbook Liber de Coquina, written towards the end of the thirteenth-century. They were also included, in varying degrees of modification, in some Italian and French cookbooks written in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. These dishes are rumm§niyya (pomegranate stew), sum§qiyya (stew soured with sumac), laymåniyya (stew soured with lemon juice), and maamåniyya (condensed almond pudding).

Abå al-bAzm (al-D§r al-Bay'§a: Maãbabat alNaj§È al-JadÊda, 2003) 53. 18 introduction documented in books. It is quite possible that some were circulated as part of the oral culinary tradition. Instances of these are: 1. bAbdull§h al-à9ar§bÊ (‫ )ﻋﺒﺪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﺍﺑﻲ‬made fuqq§b drink for al-Mubta'id (d. 902). He could have been his butler. 2. Abå bAbdull§h al-AÈwal (‫ )ﺃﺑﻮ ﻋﺒﺪ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺍﻟﺎﺣﻮﻝ‬might have been a recognizable name of a contemporary vinegar maker. 3. Abå 0amza (‫ )ﺃﺑﻮ ﺣﻤﺰﺓ‬possibly Abå 0amza al-SukkarÊ (d.

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