[Sca-cooks] artichokes vs cardoon

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 30 21:22:02 PDT 2008

>Perry is quite critical of Huici and I am sure if Huici (1879-1973) had
>had the opportunity to review Perry's text he would have been just as
>critical. Further I see Huici and la Granja studying Moroccan/Maghrib
>Arabic while Perry seems to be more involved with Persian Arabic.

There's no such thing as Persian Arabic. Persian and Arabic are two 
totally unrelated languages.

While it is true that since the Arabo-Muslim invasions of the 7th and 
8th centuries, Persian has been written using the Arabic alif-ba, 
Persian is an Indo-European language, related to English and Spanish.

Arabic, on the other hand, is a Semitic language, related to Hebrew 
and Aramaic.

Now, in the high culture of the Arabs, Persian was the language of 
poetry, Arabic, however was used in daily life.

Perry works with many Arabic language manuscripts, several of which 
have been published in "Medieval Arabic Cookery" by Prospect Books, 
in which he (1.) annotated and clarified A.J. Arberry's translation 
of al-Baghdadi's "Kitab al-Tabikh" (and later produced an entirely 
new translation of it, also published by Prospect Books), (2.) 
translated "The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods", comparing 
a 14th century manuscript originating in Cairo with a 17th c. ms., 
(3.) translated the 15th C. Syrian "Kitab al-Tibakha".

He has also worked with some of the manuscripts recently published as 
"Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens. Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's 
Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook"
Translated by Nawal Nasrallah, and published by Brill.

He was not involved in the translation, to the best of my knowledge, 
but he did study some of the surviving manuscripts and make some 
recipes from them available, prior to Nasrallah's book.

Additionally, while there is clearly Persian culinary influence in 
Arabic language cookbooks from Baghdad, Syria, and Egypt, there are 
also Persian culinary influences in Andalusian cooking, and there's a 
whole chapter in the anonymous Andalusian cookbook about the Persian 
Ziryab who came to the Andalusian court.

>     Now if we have the artichoke in the Sicily/Naples area in the 9th C,
>why cannot we have it in southern Spain in the 13th?


>     I don't question you but I do question Perry.

Suey, i don't disagree with much of your post. Scholars can really 
lay into each other. I unsubbed from an academic list on a topic of 
interest to me (and unrelated to the SCA), because the scholars, 
professors and other academics would get so nasty to each other when 
disagreeing on interpretations of archaeological evidence and other 
sorts of .information, to the point of ad hominem attacks (which 
rather surprised me in such a "public" space)

I am not attacking Huici, since i can't read his work and compare it 
with the original Arabic text. And i'm not defending Perry.

However, i think you may have missed the chief points of my reply to 
your original post in the thread "Salty carrots"

In that thread, you wrote:
>How about the artichoke? Huici translates it as existing in the 13th
>C. Perry says it was still chard.

First, I checked the entire anonymous Andalusian cookbook in its 
English translation on-line, and the comment you note is to be found 
nowhere. Perry never said artichokes were chard. He thought they 
might be cardoons.

Therefore it appears that in that post you confused
"chard" (a leafy green related to the modern beet root)
"cardoon" (a thistle with edible parts related to the artichoke).

In your current post you neither acknowledge or deny this confusion, 
although you now compare artichokes and cardoons, which seems to 
support my supposition...

And second, i noted in my message that some other scholars think 
artichokes might have appeared earlier than Perry did at the time of 
his translation.

So i'm not attacking or sticking up for either H. or P. Just trying 
to clarify confusion and add information.

And one final comment. At a cooking get-together at Duke Cariadoc's 
house, one of they cook prepared some cardoon parts. In that case, he 
used the leaves, which were quite bitter and tough. According to what 
i've been reading about cooking and eating cardoons, one avoids the 
leaves and uses the peeled *stalks*, which supposedly taste rather 
like artichoke hearts (i can't comment on this as i haven't eaten 
cardoon stalks yet). One can also eat the flower head, but i gather 
it isn't as "succulent" as an artichoke... again, no personal 

I mention this for anyone who has a hankering to try cardoons... it 
helps to eat the right parts. One would be quite physically sorry if 
one ate, for example, the leaves of tomatoes or potatoes, rather than 
the fruits of the former and the roots of the latter.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
and a lover of artichokes

My LibraryThing

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