[Sca-cooks] Banana Recipe

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Tue Jul 20 12:28:04 PDT 2010

>Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's 
>Tenth-century Baghdadi Cookbook (in the series Islamic History and 
>Nawal Nasrallah, translator, commentaries, glossaries, etc.
>Brill: Leiden, the Netherlands, 2007.
>It's expensive. I think all Brill's books, which are scholarly 
>tomes, are expensive. I have bought them in non-SCA related fields.
>This one is $195 ($175 from Amazon), but it is also nearly 900 pages 
>long, a real door stopper, and there are something like 600 recipes 
>in Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq's book alone. Then there are hundreds of 
>pages of Nasrallah's essays, commentaries, notes, and glossaries. 
>While no translation is perfect, i think this book is a real joy and 
>Nasrallah's additions are VERY helpful. The indices, however, are 
>REALLY frustrating.
>For those of us into Andalusian, North African, Middle Eastern, even 
>South and Central Asian food, this is invaluable, well worth saving 
>up the necessary dinar.
>Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
>the persona formerly known as Anahita

It's a very interesting and useful book. On the other hand, I'm not 
sure how reliable the translation is. At one point the translator 
suggests that one of the (10th century) beans referred to might be 
kidney beans--which she apparently didn't know are New World. I 
suspect she may be too willing to assume that knowledge of modern 
cooking Arabic and practice is sufficient to figure out what 10th 
century terminology means.

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