[Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food Questions

Patrick Levesque petruvoda at videotron.ca
Tue Aug 22 12:17:25 PDT 2006

The first focuses on food presentation. I'm re-going through Perry's new
translation of the Baghdad Cookery Book, and wondering how I can adapt the
dishes to SCA service.

Most of the dishes are generally cooked in a pot, and the fire is allowed to
die down, and the dish to rest some time before being brought to the table
(presumably to present the guests with a dish that is not going to scald
their palates, or perhaps to give the cook enough time to chat with his
friends before dinner, who knows? :-) Especially since the pot is already
wiped and scented while it simmers down)

For most dishes this is not an issue, as you can just prepare bowls for
individual tables, but in some cases eggs are broken on top of the surface
before the lid is set.

As I don't eat eggs, I'm not too familiar with how they react to different
forms of cooking, but I'd guess they'd form some kind of fried egg over the
dish (say, meatballs and pieces of meat and veggie). How could you reproduce
that effect if you were serving, say, 12 tables of 8 (and did not have
access to 12 small cooking pots)?

My second question concerns grapes. A number of dishes mention grape, sour
grapes, sour grape juice, or wine vinegar. Often it is not easy to
distinguish from the recipe whether dark or light grapes are intended. Does
anyone has data on the kind of grapes consumed in the Muslim world in

Incidentally, some time ago, there was a discussion about whether meat was
browned before it was stewed in period - it appears that this is done quite
commonly if one judges by this text. (This was some time ago, and I don't
remember if the argument had been made already. My apologies if I'm a
redundant twit :-))


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