[Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 15:32:15 PST 2010

I agree with what both of you have said.  However, there is an incredible
"overflow" or sharing of dishes amongst the cultures that are centered
around the Islamic religion.  Often even the names are very
similar...Charles Perry included a discussion of one of these in his
"Medieval Arab Cookery".  Paul Buell also wrote a monograph that shows
influences and crossovers from Turkey through Mongolia into China...and also
has a discussion of this, along with some recipes, in "Soup for the Qan."
In fact, I've recently encountered a dessert that consists of a kind of
pancake stacked up with a mixture of ground walnuts (or almonds or pine
nuts) and sugar.  In one (the Mongol Gullach) honey and ghee are mixed and
poured over the stack...the Turkish version (Gulac) has the rosewater and
mastic mixed in with the nut mixture as a filling!  So I do not find that
there is any kind of problem with foods from the various areas working
together to create a harmonious whole.

So far as education is concerned, I like doing dishes from the various parts
of the Middle East...so often folks get the idea that only the Arabian
Peninsula, with perhaps Turkey, are "Middle Eastern."  I always make sure
that the menu that I put on each table includes where each dish originated.

Just my two koku worth!


On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net> wrote:

> It depends on whether you are thinking of Middle East geographically or
> culturally.  Geographically, it usually refers to those countries under the
> control of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th Century snf Iran, basically
> Turkey, Libya, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and everything east to the
> Afghanistan border.  When it is used culturally, Libya usually gets dumped
> into North Africa and Afghanistan and Pakistan get added.
> I tend to favor feasts that are limited to one region and one time.  If I
> decided to do Middle Eastern, I'd probably work from the Baghdad cook book.
> Bear
>  What areas are seriously considered to be middle eastern?  If you were
>> asked
>> to cook middle eastern food for a feast, would you confine yourself to one
>> area, or offer  a broad spectrum?
>> Aldyth
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