What and How To Cook In Wartime: Hummus

Time: 1942 | Place: Palestine | Author: Lilian Cornfeld Writing a cookbook is often like writing a manifesto: it’s not about what people eat, it’s about what people should be eating. You don’t simply document the food culture around you, but rather your vision of what the surrounding culture should look like. Every salad is a…


Ancient Mesopotamian Beet Broth

Time: ca. 1700-1600, BCE | Place: Babylonia (Southern Iraq) | Language: Akkadian (Old Babylonian dialect) | Author: unknown   We sometimes take it for granted that important things are written down, but the idea of what is important to document has changed over time. When the Sumerians invented the world’s first writing system—cuneiform—at the end of the fourth…

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Cookbook of al-Maghrib and Andalusia: “Cooled Chicken” (~1250)

Time: 13th century | Place: Andalusia (part of Spain near Seville) | Author: unknown Kitab al-Tabeekh fi ‘l-Maghrib wa ‘l-Andalus fi ‘Asr al-Muwahhidin (Cookbook of al-Maghrib and Andalusia in the era of Almohads)   We often see cookbooks that focus on one specific culture of food – Italian cuisine, Indian cooking, Persian food. Well, this medieval Andalusian cookbook incorporates a bunch…

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