[Sca-cooks] Murri

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 31 06:45:39 PDT 2011

A number of recipes in the Arabic language cookbook corpus actually specify NOT to use Byzantine murri, aka fake murri, which is what Suey suggested using. And at least one recipe in the anonymous Andalusian cookbook even specifies "fish murri"... could this indicate the survival of Roman garum?

Also, i am not sure why the subtitle of the Murri section in the Florilegium is "The fermented barley paste condiment of medieval Arabia." While there is evidence for the use of murri in Arabic-speaking Southwest Asia (known today as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc.), in Northeast Africa (known to us as Egypt), and in al-Andalus, i have seen no evidence that murri was used in Arabia.

Further, there are scholars who believe, with good reason i think, that murri may have been a survival from Byzantine/Eastern Roman culture (via the original Roman Empire), a grain based form of garum, and not something that originated in Arabia. So it is probably sufficient to say, "The medieval fermented barley paste condiment". If you must say more, then perhaps adding "in Arabic-language cookbooks" would work.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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