[Sca-cooks] Question for Adamantius?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 10 08:51:39 PST 2009

(written yesterday)
Normally i edit more, but i'm leaving it all here because i'm 
confused. I don't know if it's because its 51 degrees F inside here, 
or due to the bad beef i had for lunch yesterday stuffed in vegetable 
dolmas at a Kosher restaurant, which departed my body about 2 hours 
after consuming it through the same orifice it went in, and left 
behind enough... ill will... that the soup i ate late last night also 
went out the same way it went in. So far the nectarine muffin i ate 
slowly over the course of today has remained where it should. And i 
have no other symptoms. Or is that TMI?

On Wed, 9 Dec 2009 @15:37:43 -0500, Kiri wrote:
>I don't think that is the case...I think, rather, that Arabic (as in the
>collection from Perry) equates to Persian...

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 2:34 PM, <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:
>  Adamantius wrote:
>>  We've got at least one Laurel here who actively promotes the premise that,
>>  according to her correspondence with real-live, actual Persians, Persian
>>  cooking has not changed significantly in 500 years.
>>  Well, there you go. Their use of things like capsicums and tomatoes must
>>  have evolved independently from the European voyages of exploration
>>  beginning in the late 15th century...
>  I've got photocopies of the two surviving Safavid Persian cookbooks, one
>  from the early 16th c. and the other barely early 17th. I just can't read
>  Persian, or i'd be working on them.
>  I've read references to these books in scholarly articles, which provide
>  general discussions of the cookbooks and recipes. Apparently one of the
>  books is almost entirely pilaf/pilao recipes, that is, rice cooked with meat
>  and other ingredients, which are typical of the wealthy only, while the
>  other presents remarkably detailed recipes from a royal kitchen. Clearly the
>  modern scholars read the books but never considered it worthwhile to
>  translate them into any Western European language and publish them :(
>  What i want to know is how that SCAdian knows what SCA-period Persian
>  cuisine was like, since few real-live, actual Persians were alive in SCA
>  period to report back. And as far as i can tell from my contacts, few
>  real-live, actual Persians have read historical Persian cookbooks. Basically
>  she's supporting the old canard that traditional equals historical. Sigh.

I don't understand what you meant, Kiri. I'm dense today.

While i see that the two cultures have influenced each other, they 
remain quite distinct.

I know that the court in 'Abbasid Baghdad admired the cuisine of the 
court of Persia. And i know that a number of dishes in surviving 
Arabic cookbooks have Persian names. But they were not exactly as the 
Persians cooked them, as close as we can get until someone translates 
the surviving cookbooks... and perhaps some mentions in other texts.

It's clear that over time Persian cuisine changed, from what i can 
tell from the papers by scholars who can read Persian, from the 
Sassanid (pre-Muslim, 224-651) through the Safavid (1501-1736) 
periods. And clearly the addition of New World ingredients into 
modern Persian cuisine shows that it has undoubtedly changed. Given 
that most New World ingredients didn't enter Ottoman Turkish cuisine 
until the 18th century, it is highly unlikely that they entered 
Persian cuisine before then either.

Note that when the Azerbaijani physician Muhammed bin Mahmud Shirvani 
translated al-Baghdadi's cookbook into Eski Osmanlica for the Ottoman 
sultan, probably Murad II in his second reign, in the mid 15th 
century, he changed some of the recipes in his translations! For 
example he substituted the expensive fowl chicken for goat.

So i think there's no reason to assume that the Arabs did not change 
Persian recipes as they adopted them to their culture and taste 

So i don't see how Arabic equates to Persian.

But i may be wandering far afield from your intention, since i'm not 
sure quite what you meant, Kiri.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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