[Sca-cooks] Questions on coffee

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sat Jan 30 19:39:06 PST 2010

> Odd question does anyone know if coffee mentioned in "The 1001 Nights"?  I
> understand that they date from period.  I've a couple of the translations, 
> Burton's is the most extensive, but have not waded through them.
> Daniel

I don't recall any references to coffee in the versions I've read, but that 
has been some time.

The Thousand Nights and a Night are an accretion of stories that were first 
compiled in book form around the 10th Century.  The earliest manuscripts 
that are available are 14th-15th Century, so we can't tell if coffee 
appeared in the work prior to this time.  There are differing versions of 
the tales, having the same core of stories, but different peripheral 
stories.  There is also debate as to how much editting and revision have 
been done in the early modern period.  This means that references to coffee 
in the stories may be modern rather than pre-1600 artifacts.

I am told that the Husain Haddawy translation from a modern Arabic 
translation of the Medieval manuscript (Leiden text) in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale is the closest to the original and would probably be the best 
manuscript to search for references to coffee.  Haddawy has also translated 
a collection of stories not found in the Leiden manuscript.


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